Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nature's Own Sculpture-SkyWatch Friday No. 41


This is one of those rare (for me, at least) examples of an image where I actually had a concept in mind well before trying to execute it.
I've been driving past this unique rock several times a month for years; it's right beside the road we have to travel between San Diego and our place in the mountains about a hundred miles to the northeast. I've always known that I was going to stop one day and do something with this, but it was just a matter of being there at the right time and having my gear with me also.  It lies in a high-desert transitional zone, so the sky here is usually clear blue unless there is some kind of storm in the area, but for once the weather gods were kind enough to leave these perfect high, thin cirrus clouds in just the perfect location to serve as a backdrop.. all around to the left, right and behind me was nothing but clear blue!  
As far as I know, this is basically natural, except for where some genius decided to paint a ring around the eye and possibly someone has chipped away a few strategic spots to emphasize the obvious, but that doesn't bother me too much. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some legend to this rock among the locals-I believe it lies on a bit of Native American reservation land-but if there is, I do not know it. I made 5 or 6 different compositions and don't know yet which will ultimately be my favorite, but for now this one will do.
Since the sky is an equal subject here, I am participating in SkyWatch Friday this week. Visit their page to see many other weekly entries... it's a hugely popular site.

36 comments:

Guy D said...

Absolutley fascinating, thanks for sharing.

Have a great weekend.
Guy
Regina In Pictures

kjpweb said...

Welcome to Skywatch and we sure hope to see more of you! :)
Excellent capture. Love the B/W treatment.
Cheers, Klaus

SandyCarlson said...

That's an amazing photograph. Thanks for sharing this work of art.

Jill Berry said...

This one is AMAZING. Once again the cloud interaction is phenomenal.
Interesting site - skywatch. I took a ton of sky pics off the Gulf Coast yesterday afternoon. Took my paint but never put the camera down.

itsnotjustapicture said...

a great capture in b/w and the sky makes the rock formation pop even more ...what highway is this off of?

the foto fanatic said...

Great b&w - well done!

Photo Cache said...

All I can say is WOW!

earthtoholly.com said...

Welcome to SkyWatch, Mark!

And what a perfect entry. This beautiful rock and sky is just gorgeous in b&w. No matter the legend, I'm sure the legend gods would smile upon what you've done with this!

Mary Elizabeth said...

Great entry. Stunning photo.
Mary Elizabeth @ Now and Then

VALKYRIEN said...

Amazing photo! The formations of the clouds make me feel drawn into the picture! Impressive!

B Squared said...

Very Ansel Adam's like.

Ebie said...

What a beauty!

roentarre said...

The dramatic sky compliments the rock so well. Such a great impact from this shot

I did a recent series on rocks as well and you just gave me some inspiration for post processing :)

Tricia said...

The right place @ the right time! Doesn't happen often, but when it does... it pays off! Very beautiful!

Dagrun said...

Oh, this one was really amazing! Marvellous rock, and the sky/ clouds and the black and white all make it perfect!

(you really do take good pictures, I hope you do not mind me linking to your blog...)

Patrick said...

Perfect sky Mark, you took your gear just the right day !

Arija said...

Nice one, I like the eye looking back at you.

Russ said...

Beautiful shot! Happy SWF!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

WOW! There is an almost identical rock to this at the Pictured Rocks National Park shoreline in Michigan. The site does have a Native American history.

Great post!

Cheers! JJ

Amy Lilley Designs said...

HIGH DRAMA!!! Great shot Mark!

Light and Voices said...

I really liked your header a lot. The photograph posted for Sky Watch Friday is phenomenal.
Joyce

betchai said...

wow, it is so fascinating, looking at it! and the black and white is really perfect for this scene. it is like everything is perfect when you were there, the sky is amazing too.

storybeader said...

beautiful image. The clouds are great! I'm sure there is a legend behind it - would be interesting to find out... Love the B&W - always wonder what a color pic would look like, and vica-versa.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Klaus: Thanks.. don't know if I'll be here every week, but once in a while for sure.. great idea.

Patrick: You know the rule: always be prepared:)

James: I'd like to see those when you're done with them.. maybe you can post some or send me a link to the appropriate gallery on your site.

Holly: Thank you. I got a little head start this week so was able to get this done on time.

Dagrun: Thanks a lot for all the nice comments. I hope you come back often.

NotJustaPicture: This is on Hgwy. 379, just south of Anza, if you are familiar with the So.Cal. area. I like your pictures from Italy.. will look into your blog some more.

Russ: Same to you.. thanks.

JJ: I'd like to see that one, too.

Hi Jill: maybe you're gonna get hooked on using a camera.. at least it's always good reference material for later use as a painting, right?

Amy: Thank you for looking in; always glad to hear from you. I've been watching your drawings develop.

wayne d said...

Mark, your images never cease to amaze me and this one is no exception. They are all wonderful and the commentaries are great too. I like the tonal range here and the low angled view. Keep them coming.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

What an incredible photo. I love it.

Cheers

PM

Highton-Ridley said...

A great shot - love the comp and your treatment and the fine mono conversion. Nice :)

Cheers,
Mark
www.highton-ridley.co.uk

Snapshutter said...

Excellent B&W!

Mark Alan Meader said...

Wayne: appreciate that very much... I'm glad that you enjoy the commentary along with the images. I'll continue to do my best.
Mark: Thanks and I already checked out your site.. excellent stuff.
PM & Snapshutter: Cheers and thanks a lot.

Mook said...

Nice one sir! The clouds really worked well for you, your patience has been rewarded!

I know I always say it but hey, superb!!

The Explorer said...

The you have was really shown by this photo. If black and white tone made this photo as almost perfect, what more if it has color?

Mark Alan Meader said...

Mook!.. How are ya? Hope you get a new camera soon(and a sturdy tripod).. I miss your frequent posts and experiments.
Explorer: Color was not the way to go on this one, believe me!

Sharkbytes said...

Looks like something from Lord of the Rings!

Lynda Lehmann said...

Great shot, Mark! The sky was perfect, just waiting for you to shoot this!

It looks like a totem, for sure. It reminds me of all the fantastic rock formations around Pinnacle Peak in Arizona. They always seem so spiritual to me, as if they carry great and majestic secrets.

Sorry I'm late in getting around. We've been so busy!

Again, great work!

Mark Alan Meader said...

Sharkbytes: That's a good call! Thanks for looking.. I cruise by your blog all the time.

Lynda: I was watching the sky and driving fast, praying that the last of the clouds wouldn't evaporate before I got there... one of those situations only another photographer would understand:)

GulfGal said...

Mark, you have the most amazing photography.
I'm captured by the beauty of all your images.
i look forward to seeing more of them and reading your posts, too.
Cheers from FL!