Humorously captioned “Drove to the middle of nowhere then hiked along the edge of a coyote-infested 200’ cliff in the dark to get this shot,” this composite landscape image of Palouse Falls, Washington by Jesse Summers has received great attention from the online masses, evoking both admiration from some and frustration from others who would argue that the photo is ‘too Photoshopped’:
Summers explained that this shot is actually “a blend of two five-shot panoramas” taken in the same location at different times of the day. In other words, this is a composite shot, a photograph created by superimposing two or more separate photos into one image. Adobe Photoshop is the obvious go-to for editing projects of this nature, but Summers claims to have edited these raw photos in NIK Viveza to create the final composite:
“A composite was the only way I could realize my vision for this scene,” Summers said, “as I wanted to capture it with available light rather than light painting hours later.”
Beyond the merging of the two photos, Summers insists that the photograph is “not too edited”—despite snarky protests from many in the photographic community. Critics have noted that the landscape is simply too bright to be taken seriously as a nighttime shot, while others have accused Summers of having little experience with masking and of butchering reality.
However, even critics seem to agree that the shot functions well as a breathtaking work of art, and many social media readers have petitioned Summers to release a larger version of the photograph for use as desktop wallpaper.
“I’m glad some people like it as it was a difficult series of images to take,” Summers said. “This location can be pretty dangerous to shoot at night.”
Summers went on to explain that, while the “coyote-infested” phrasing was aimed to poke fun at sensationalized titles, coyotes did “rustle around in the bushes quite a bit” and only someone with a death wish would walk along the edge of that 200-foot cliff after dark without a tactical wide-beam flashlight in hand.
Whether or not the shot is “too Photoshopped,” Summers at least gets an “A” for effort.
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