Archive for June 7th, 2009



Prairie Pothole Dawn

Prairie Pothole Dawn

As I noted yesterday, the true prairie is mostly gone in North Dakota, replaced by wheat and soybean deserts. Even what appears to be open prairie on the National Wildlife Refuges (some of the first in the nation, thanks to Teddy Roosevelt’s love for the Dakota Territory and wildlife) is really a mix of mostly invasive species of vegetation. While the prairie is intact, the native plants are hardy enough to keep invasives out, but once the prairie is broken, then faster growing, more opportunistic plants that have followed man to the prairie rush in and claim the ground. Even intentional replanting of native species has not had much success in rebuilding broken prairie.

So this is close to to a Prairie Dawn as you get these days. The topography is right, and if you ignore the striding powerline and don’t look too closely at the vegetation, you can imagine yourself on the prairie.

Still, there is something to be said for embracing the moment as it is. This is what is, in North Dakota today, and in the early light of day it is beautiful. It has a value and a validity all its own…and is…I dare say, just as worthy of preservation, and of recording in this image.

Sony DSC H50 at about 80mm equivalent (for cropping). F4.0 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

Cropped from the bottom in Lightroom to eliminate a fence and position the horizon. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Recovery for the sky. Black point to the right. I used a graduated filter effect from the bottom of the image up to just over the horizon to brighten, and to add Clarity and contrast for detail. Landscape sharpen preset.

From Potholes and Prairies 2009.

[After some comments: compare this. Which?

A Little Less Sky...more Landscape

A Little Less Sky...more Landscape