The Southwest

One of my favorite places to photograph is the southwest. I recently went on a trip with friend and fellow landscape photographer Kevin McNeal. Part of the time we spent some frustrating days waiting out snow storms. But patients pays off sometimes as we were able to capture some of these areas with some dramatic light and snow. Many of the places we visited were iconic, but we didn't have these in our portfolios. We also went during the dead of winter since most National Parks are captured during the spring through fall seasons.

Three advantages going in off-season are 1: A lot less people to deal with 2: The chance of snow in areas that you don't see much of it in photographs 3: The weather and light tend to be more dramatic. Finally, there were a couple other photographers at this spot when I started, but by the time this light happened they had given up and had gone home. Patience is not only a virtue, it is essential for capturing that magic light we look for.The first image of the Watchman (above) would have been a difficult capture with a Graduated Neutral Density Filter which I would normally use. I shot this as 2 exposures, one for highlights and one for shadows then I combined them in post processing to give the same type of effect as if I had used a filter on the camera.
Another iconic spot, but also done a bit differently than what you will normally see. This is Turret Arch through North Window. You can make your shots a little different than everyone else's by composing from different angles, or shooting at a different time of day. That is what was done with this shot. The most common time of day from this location is just as the sun hits the rock face of the North Window. I shot this a few minutes before sunrise with a longer exposure to capture some of the stars that can be seen in a larger version of this shot.

This last shot was 2 exposures combined in Photoshop, not because of a difficult exposure, but to achieve better sharpness throughout the photograph. The focal length was 26mm and the foreground was very close so I had a shallower depth of field to deal with. I shot one image focused for the foreground and one focused further into the scene. Photoshop has a new feature that allows the photographer to use the the sharpest parts of several images to create one very sharp image throughout. I combined the 2 shots for exceptional sharpness that could not have been achieved in a single shot.

1 comment:

  1. Doug, The Vally of light is amazing!!!! Allen (your neighbor across the wetland)