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(2010.MAY.16)
Butte Valley, NV – USA

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  1. Country Roads And Country Views
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  5. America’s Rural Urban, Wild & Free
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Canon 350D EOS
Sigma 70-300 mm


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Composite image, incorporating five (or more) different photos; all taken on the same day (same camera and lens)

The base image is a large flock of sheep spread out over several miles of open range. Later, we encountered the herder and his dogs, along with some lambs on the road. The last detail was addition of the herder’s camp and pick-up truck, slightly above center left (on the foothills).

This turned out to be a much more complicated process than I had originally intended. The many elements of the image were added in layers, then blended using smudging, burning, and other techniques.

All of the shots were taken “on-the-fly”, so the foregrounds in all of them were blurred, and thus required extensive cloning, drawn from other areas of the base image, to create a sharper, more realistic picture.

Finally, a gradient filter of soft gold hues was applied.

I use JASC PaintShop Pro x7 for layering and some cloning; and Corel PhotoImpact x3 for sharpening, blending, and tonal adjustments.

Among the most challenging parts of the process, was in getting the proportion of dogs to horse-and-rider correct.

Base Image: The herd

Main Subject: The herder

Tags

arla ruggles, dogs, horse, nevada, sheep herder, shepherd, ranch, western

Great Basin Life exists … between … high desert expanses and majestic mountain wilderness.

Daily, I watch the winds of change sweeping away what remains of our western culture and heritage, and the land that has produced them.

My mission is to preserve as much as I can, of that which will soon vanish, through my photography.

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Comments

  • Bob Wall
    Bob Wallabout 4 years ago

    Pretty cool Arla. I need to learn how to do this stuff.

  • Thanks Bob – and I think I need to stick with straight-out photography. :P

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Gloria McAfee-Carver
    Gloria McAfee-...about 4 years ago

    “Five” images! Incorporated! Pretty darn Cool, Arla! Final porduct is whimsical! Gloria

  • Whimsical, eh? Hmm.
    Thanks? :D)))

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Enivea
    Eniveaabout 4 years ago

    You’ve certainly spent some time on this one, and it’s wasn’t wasted – it’s great!
    I am curious about the rod the bloke has though….never seen anything like that over here…..

  • It has a narrow hook on the end, and is used for grabbing little sheep by one ankle. He can do a number of things with this tool, without getting down from his horse.

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • barnsis
    barnsisabout 4 years ago

    Very well done,

  • Thanks very much!

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Enivea
    Eniveaabout 4 years ago

    Oh just like we use for chooks! Chickens to you that is…..lol! Thanks.

  • Yep! The very same. :)

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyabout 4 years ago

    Amazing! All that hard work really paid off, Arla. What a wonderful composition!

  • Thank you, Mike!

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • doubleheader
    doubleheaderabout 4 years ago

    I’ll have to learn that layering thing some day.. looks like a painting Arla.. nice work…=D

  • My mother was a painter, and this is the sort of creation she would have liked to do … to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. To tell a story. :)

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • arvyart
    arvyartabout 4 years ago

    You have made a very nice composition, Arla. And the proportion of the dogs and the rider fits perfectly. :)

  • Thanks, Arvy!

    My only “regret” is with the rider’s headgear. They all wear ball caps now, instead of cowboy hats. I thought about fixing that, but decided to go with what I was given … a bit of juxtaposition.

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Berns
    Bernsabout 4 years ago

    Fantastic!

  • Thank you, Berns!

    – Arla M. Ruggles

  • Anne  McGinn
    Anne McGinnabout 4 years ago

    Great great photos! BTW, are there herders of Basque origin in Nevada like CA has?

  • Most of them come from Peru and Chile, nowadays.

    There is a very strong Basque culture here, arisen from the sheep industry, but Spain doesn’t need these jobs anymore.

    – Arla M. Ruggles

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