ANCIENT PUEBLOAN HAND PRINT
A number of years ago I was in a remote canyon above the Colorado River in Canyonlands NP. I was with two others and one knew of this location and these hand prints. These are somewhat rare although not uncommon and are in other places. But for me it was a one-of-a-kind discovery. These were created by placing the hand against the wall and blowing paint through a straw.
I do not know what the meaning is nor what actually makes up the ‘paint’ but I read once it was a plant based ‘concoction’. I imagine the straw was a reed from along the river.
For processing it was pretty basic. I wanted the white paint to pop a little more so set a white point using Levels and that brightened the image so I reduced the mid tone slider to darken slightly. That layer added more pop to the image.
I am most interested in the idea of the people who lived along the river and stood right here creating these prints. One of you out there probably knows more than me so please share.
Here is a fun and lively portrait of Chelsea photographed against a white background. I used a large Octabox and two umbrellas on the background. The key to great white backgrounds is having them about 2 stops brighter than the light on the subject and no more than that.
Here is the light diagram:
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At some point a bird walked by and left these imprints on the wet sandy beach. Birds are foragers, always looking for something to eat that will sustain them. I as well am a forager, always searching for something to feed my craving to create. It’s a never ending hunger. Photography sustains me!
Captured with a Nikon point and shoot and processed in Photoshop and Topaz Adjust. One of the things I do when I look at something like this is to find angles or rotate the camera to create impact to the lines that are in the scene. The footprints were going in one direction so by positioning the camera to make those footprints come from one corner up to the other, more drama is created in the composition.
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It is not hard to find amazing ‘light’ to photograph in Vegas. Actually, there is better man made light than sweet natural light as far as the strip is concerned. Everywhere you go: neon is so photogenic. Even in the casinos, like here at the Zarkana show (which is great) there is shape and form to capture with an iPhone. I opened this in PS and used the lens correction tool to straighten the verticals.
A couple of nights ago I was out filming and photographing in Arizona’s Kofa Mountain area. I was actually filming for a new introduction video I was making for a new place I am going to be teaching and mentoring photographers.
My focus was on the video clips, but when the light became golden right before sunset, I had to stop filming and start photographing and this is the result. There was no adjustment to the raw file as far as color at all. This ‘sweet light’ was all natural. I only added a hint of contrast, like I almost always have to do, and a bit of sharpening. Mostly a straight shot.