Tag Archives: utah

Sometimes it is All About Luck

Years ago, I taught a workshop in Grand Staircase Escalante NM and when we were done I headed north on Hwy 24 over Boulder Mountain. It was fall and the Dixie NF has some great fall color all over the mountains here.

I was doing the ‘pedal to the metal’ after the workshop as I had places to get to, but when I saw this my first thought was WOW! As I drove past I thought I should stop ASAP even though I wasn’t really expecting to do any shooting. That thought passed in about 4 seconds and I spun the car around at my first opportunity.

ut_dixie_nf_MG_6462A

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Nature’s Amazing Palette

It is amazing what Mother Nature provides for our cameras. I looked at this scene and wondered what was happening on Earth to make all these colorful layers? The multitude of colors, i presume, means some specific mineral was ‘spewing’ all over for a while before another mineral came along. It’s fascinating! Any geologists out there?

When you think of creating great compositions, scenes like this dont make it hard. There is not only lines and diagonals adding to the composition, but the horizontal layers as well. There is contrast as well but it’s not lighting. Instead, I call it color contrast: a full range of colors both dark and light bring contrast to the scene. If it was converted to B&W it would have tonal contrast.

This is southern Utah due north of Page, AZ. Shot with a Canon 5D and 80-200mm lens

The eroded hills near Pareah, Utah   Join my mail list on the right side. Get my eBook above. Checkout my online photography course: How to Be a Professional Outdoor & Nature Photographer.

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The Ancient Ones

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.

petroglyph hand prints

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.

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Photographing Wahweap Towers

This is one of the most amazing places I have ever shot! It’s part of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Utah.

The soft light is very flat lighting: no whites and no blacks, just light grays and dark grays, so you have to create the black and white. But do you need them?

Honestly, I struggled to find my ‘look.’ The original file has a blue cast from the blue sky above, so I worked that a bit: added blue/took away blue, saturated, added contrast, then took it all away. Today, I decided to do B&W and high contrast. Tomorrow, who knows. 

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Photographing Interesting Rock Formations

This image is from Capitol Reef and while I am no geologist I found this rock interesting in the late light. There were multiple layers on top of each other and each had a different pattern to it. They were thin and separating and if I was to guess the ripples indicated that water flowed across at one time. Or maybe wind? Sand dunes? Just guessing! Anybody know?

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