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Two Rivers -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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East of the town of Hood River in the Columbia Gorge is an area where the deep green forests of the west end of the Columbia River begin their transition to the dry deserts of the eastern portions of Oregon and Washington.  Near the confluence of the Klickitat River and the Columbia is a high bluff with spectacular views.  Early in 2003 I spent the afternoon there with a camera and saw a drift of pink flowers in a shape that echoed the curve of the Columbia seen in the distance.  It was a fortunate find and I waited much of the afternoon to attempt a picture.  There was a lot of wind that day and the branches of the pine in the foreground would be blurred unless the wind calmed.  There was also the problem of barge traffic on the water, and several times when the air was still a barge spoiled the picture.  Finally I got a perfect shot which you see here.  The flowers are called Rosy Plectritis (Plectritis congesta).  

Often a good photograph contains an unusual element that captures the viewer's attention.  The flowers are what do that for this one.  But there is another characteristic of a good photo:  the idea that all parts of the picture contribute to the whole.  If something can be taken away from a picture and it is improved, then it's often a good choice to do that.  In this case removing the tree, the sky, the clouds, the river, or the flowers would take something important away from the overall composition.  I recommend to photographers that they experiment with this idea when framing a scene in the viewfinder and when choosing the lens and location of the camera.  

I still find it a miracle that I can leave my home in Portland, drive 100 miles, and in seemingly random wanderings find a spot to capture stunning beauty and return home that evening with film in hand and a sense of anticipation that I've captured that miracle to share with others.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 645 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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