Sunday, May 3, 2009

Red Canyon in Monochrome

Wikipedia lists more that 70 canyons in the U.S. named "Red Canyon", not surprisingly most of them in the southwest, but this particular one is located on the road to Bryce Canyon, and is only about 9 miles to the west of the national park entrance. Many people don't bother to stop here; the landscape is extraordinary enough to produce "oohs" and "ahhs" but probably that makes everyone anxious to get to Bryce, so they whiz on through.  It's worth stopping for more that a quick roadside snapshot, however.. it's got some lonely trails to hike and fantastic scenery if you turn off the main road for a bit, plus it's totally uncrowded. There's no entry fee and it's open to mountain bikes, horses, ATVs, camping... you can pretty much do whatever you want.
The famous outlaw Butch Cassidy grew up near here and is said to have used it as a hideout on occasion... you can see why. If you were familiar enough with this area I don't think anyone could ever find you.
I made this shot in bright mid-day sun, so the deep blue sky and the bright red/orange rocks exposed through a polarizer produce a kind of infrared effect when processed in monochrome. 
Be sure to visit Aileni's Monochrome Maniacs index every Monday for a weekly list of B&W submissions from around the blogosphere.


James said...

I can picture an old western gun fight in that photo. It looks perfect in B&W.

Cruiselife & Co said...

What an amazing shot. I love this!

HightonRidley said...

I'm curious how you did your mono conversion, Mark. It looks to me like there's maybe more potential in this shot?

It looks like you've got good greens in the trees and good blues/cyans in the sky - and of course, it's not called red canyon for nothing!

I think what I'm seeing is a good separation of those colours in the final tones but I think there's more :)


storybeader said...

great job with the B&W - right up there with Ansel Adams! They're great!

Martha Z said...

Nice shot. That is great country but like most I am always hurrying to the next park. We never took the time to stop here.

slim said...

This sure does work well in monochrome. This landscape is so beautiful. You could get lost photographing in this canyon in changing light for days. I would like to visit this area.

betchai said...

I believe we passed this Mark, so yes, I am guilty for not stopping to take in this beauty. There are actually nice formations there that we saw, but like what you said, we were probably kind of rushing to Bryce. Never thought the monochrome shot would be great for this stunning scenery too, as always, love your picture.

roentare said...

Mark, this image is very good and I am a serious fan with rock formation in landscape. The fact that black and white conversion would have emphasised the texture look even better

Good to see landscape in your blog as always.

Marie Reed said...

You've gotten ooohs and ahhhhs from this girl too!

Anonymous said...

A fine picture.
Could not help seeing the formation as a row of caricature faces.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Being from the SW, I'm partial to our gorgeous blue skies, red rock, mesas, and interesting rock formations. I wouldn't have thought a vista like this would be able to switch over to monochrome well.....but it does! Very nicely, too. It would make a wonderful poster on the wall enlarged.

New Mexico, USA

kden said...

It's nice to find a place that not 'everybody' knows about. Fantastic Mono.

Daryl said...

Just perfect

Unknown said...


I think this one would really deserve a large view. I would also like to see the color version :)

PS : When you have a little time i'd like to know what Mr Linky is. I follow the link every time but never understood very well.

Gennasus said...

It looks fab. And probably hot?

Ashrays said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashrays said...

Another extraordinary shot the polarizer has had a great effect something for me to keep in mind thanks.

You are quite right about bothering to stop it is often worthwhile!

The location that my pic of the boat and the one of the boathouse were taken have fascinated me since I was a child but this weekend was the first time I have ever stopped there. said...

Oops, I'm afraid I'm one of those who whizzed through on the way to Bryce. And I'm sorry we did...what a great formation. Maybe next time. Thanks for the heads up on this, Mark, and as usual, your capture is amazing! I love the black and white.

Clueless in Boston said...

Perfect shot and great subject.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Good question! My final solution on this image was to concentrate on the "big shapes" and achieve a pleasing balance of light vs. dark in the image as a whole (always my primary goal and admittedly subjective). The source exposure is not ideal.. flat, bright light and very little color variation, so after almost 2 years of diddling with it off and on, my decision was to "create" some drama by exaggerating the tone of the rock against the sky and not worry too much about the local detail... that path kept leading me to a bland result. One of the things that has drawn me back to B&W lately is the abstract nature of it and the many possible results from one starting point... certainly there may be other valid interpretations here.

BTW, have you thought about joining It is the best blogger networking site that I have seen.. you can contact and interface with other photographers/artists easily, broadcast to your friends and even start you own forums. Perhaps a monochrome discussion group is in order?


Mark Alan Meader said...

I thought about providing a larger version on this, but don't like to do that all the time. The color image is nothing to look at, unless I decide to come back to this in the future and discuss processing options in such a situation.

Mark Alan Meader said...

James: Thanks.. can you see the ghost of old butch riding up there on the ridge top?
Lauren: Welcome back. I think my next story will be of special interest to you based on your area of study.
Deb: you're a little too kind on this one, but thanks!
Martha: Thanks.. fellow Californians are always welcome.
Slim: Appears you're from Mass.. so am I, originally. I'll have to investigate your blog.
Betchai: Hi.. and thanks. I need to get by your new blog.. been kind of busy.
James(roentarre): Thank you. I think you said you were working on a rock series?.. would still like to see.
Marie: thank you and welcome.
Aileni: You're right .. I saw that too.
LOR: Yeah, some very unlikely subjects can look pretty stunning in B&W.
kden & Daryl: thanks for stopping by.
Gennasus: Hot sometimes, but the elevation here keeps it from being quite a bad as it may look.
Mook: it's easy to pass places every day and never really see them; it definitely pays to slow down and take a careful look sometimes.
Hi Holly: Thanks, as always.
CiB: Thanks for commenting. Another blog I will explore, having lived in Boston for quite a few years before moving out here. I see a lot of familiar places already with just a quick look.

bu melfa said...

nice to have a view of the other side of this world....
and i get one from your blog here.
peace shout from Indonesia..
hope 2 c u soon on my blog..