Mountain reminiscences

Longing madly

In our community, there is a large group of photographers who love mountains. Don't you miss them even more recently? I have to confess that in my daily routine it has already become obligatory to watch a webcam directed at the panorama of majestic peaks. They remain unchanged, they still arouse the desire for new adventures ... well ... just mountains, unpretentiously revalue our affairs and fears.

Tatra Mountains, Poland, Orla Perc, Eagle Path

Who loves them, admires them every time, at dawn and sunset, in the fog (or better above fog) and in the sun at the zenith, and also in those moments when resting after a full-day jaunt on an August night, you watched the coming storm.

One time, just such a night, hearing the murmur of the storm from afar, I spontaneously packed the tripod and camera and went to a safe viewpoint. With a time trigger in my hand and a camera on a tripod, I started to release the shutter for a few seconds in anticipation of lightning. The storm front unfortunately turned out to be skimpy with lightnings and even one did not cut through the darkness as expected. I actually finished with just one shot that came out satisfactory. Indefinite lights danced over the highest Polish peak, Rysy.

Highest peak of Poland Rysy after dusk

In the comfort of your home you can conquer the Table Mountains

In fact, the photo of this landscape is correct and appropriate for Stock, but thought it would be nice to add a first plan to it, to tell the story more fully. Perhaps a staring wanderer? Yes, the idea seems worth trying out.

So I jumped in shorts, trekking shoes, threw my backpack over my shoulders and grabbed the trekking poles in my hands. Prepared for the adventure, I reached the highest possible place in the house .. accessible by the route, which does not require additional equipment i.e. harness .. to the table. Well, maybe I got a little carried away, the floor level would be enough, but I also wanted to try a few shots from below.

And here's a small tip to make the photo look authentic, try to recreate the most similar direction point, perspective to the photo on which the silhouette will be pasted.

To facilitate cutting out the silhouette, I used a white blanket as a background suspended between two tripods and a white bedspread as the ground. Yes I know. You will ask, white bedspread and trekking shoes? Remember, on the mountain trails we follow the principle "Leave No Trace", so I cleaned my shoes before ;) Still, it's probably better if your household members do not see it ;) The last point of this rule says "Take other guests into account."

An inseparable companion, Photoshop

Isolating the silhouette from the background can be done in several ways, more or less laborious and time consuming. It all depends on the photo on which we will work. For a silhouette on a flat white background, the 'Quick Select Tool' or the 'Select Color Range' command is sufficient and takes just a few clicks. But for photos without a single-color flat background, more demanding fun begins. You can use the Pen tool to create a selection from a previously precisely drawn multi-point path of Bezier curves.

Whatever method you choose, it is good to "Refine the edges" to soften the contours. Sharp outlines will look unnatural and too artificial. In my photo I additionally applied a small "Gaussian blur" effect.

The last step was adding a fragment of rocks under the feet from another photo and adjusting the brightness levels of the histogram almost to a minimum.

Tourist on top looking at the majestic landscape

So in such a way, I extended the adventure with the mountains without leaving my home.

But don't worry, they are still there, patiently and persistently waiting.

Greetings to @ll of you who love mountains.

PS

Some facts at the end. The highest peak in Poland is called Rysy and is high at 2499 m a.s.l. and you can get there in two ways. From the Polish or Slovak side (this is an easier version).

The Table Mountains really exist, it is a mountain range in the Central Sudetes chain lying in the Czech Republic and Poland. Sandstone slabs are arranged horizontally and hence the name of the mountains, because they are flat as a table.

"Leave no trace" ethics:

● Plan ahead and get ready

● Travel and camp on durable surfaces

● Dispose of waste properly

● Leave what you find

● Minimize campfire impacts

● Respect wildlife

● Be considerate of other visitors

PS 2

Never underestimate the storm in the mountains, immediately get off the ridge, go to safe shelter as soon as possible. A storm in the mountains can be very unpredictable and dangerous.

Photo credits: Frui.

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May 15, 2020

Frui

Thanks Silviu, I found many good ones also in your portfolio!

May 15, 2020

Photostock2015

Nice pictures

May 12, 2020

Frui

Lucky you, William. You have the longest hiking trail in the world at the door of your house, full of beautiful spots. Thanks for comment!

May 11, 2020

Williamwise1

Very creative article! I enjoyed it. The "mountains" near my home are just the foothills of the Appalachians, yet I enjoy them dearly. I could only imagine being able to get into some real peaks like those shown in your article. Thanks for sharing! William 

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