Old Tractor, Montana Ranch


Old Tractor, Montana Ranch 25mm, f/13, 7 exposures

My wife and I just enjoyed a four-day weekend in Montana’s Stillwater County with four other couples (I’ll post a picture of this fantastically good-looking group soon).  While out wandering among the ranches early one morning I spotted this rusty old tractor just off the highway.  Dramatic skies + rusty tractor + twisted barbed wire + broken fence  posts = great HDR scene.

I shot seven exposures to capture the entire dynamic range.  Since I generally like to leave some deep shadows in my HDRs I probably could have done without the brightest exposure.  Likewise with the darkest exposure…not *sure* that I needed it but I shot it anyway.

After tonemapping in Photomatix I fired up Photoshop with the intent of doing the usual blending with the original exposures and adjusting with curves.  The image had a bit too much color saturation for my taste and as I tried different methods to tone that down I got the idea to turn this into an antique-ish photo.  So, I used a channel mixer adjustment layer and tweaked to take almost all the color out, my new goal being to make it look like a photo that had been sitting under the glass on someone’s desk for fifty years.  Five curves layers/masks were used and noise was reduced in the sky.  All it needs IMO is a leather-skinned farmer leaning on the wheel with a blade of grass stuck in his mouth.


9 responses

  1. This photograph is incredible!!

    August 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

  2. Wow! I can’t stop looking at this. Your photography is pure poetry.

    August 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

  3. Sweet! you get some close-ups?

    August 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

  4. Art, Just Amazing!

    August 9, 2011 at 12:34 am

  5. Thanks, everyone. Mike — I got a little tighter crop. The tractor was behind a fence and although the gate was open I chose not to trek on their property. It was far enough beyond the fence that a wide angle couldn’t “reach” it and a 24-70 (on full frame) was the longest lens I had.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:38 am

  6. Pingback: Horses, Montana Ranch « Michael Tuuk Photography

  7. I actually like your photographs

    November 3, 2011 at 7:28 am

  8. When you find the grizzled old farmer, just photoshop him in. Great pics!

    November 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

  9. A moving photo – straight out of Steinbeck. The other general detritus in the immediate foreground really add to the feel. Lovely pic – many thanks

    November 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

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