Monday, October 29, 2012

A Different Perspective

I headed out to this very popular formation known as "The Wave" about an hour before sunset, only to find a dozen or more people already there (many of them from Europe.. there are no secrets anymore!), all looking for the same shot, so it was hard to set up without getting in someone's way, or someone getting in mine.  As often happens, I ended up waiting for everyone else to head home as it got close to sundown and then started looking around for a non-standard view that might capture it in an equally interesting, but fresh perspective.  I find this one much preferable to the views I shot from the "standard" spot anyway.. and, as a bonus, I later got some very nice golden hour scenes along the one mile trail back up to the road.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nature's Hidden Artwork

Digging around in the nooks, crannies and caves at Valley of Fire on this day revealed a lot of remarkable images carved into the sandstone by eons of wind and rain. It's kind of the best option, given the bright mid-day sun, to stay in the shaded areas and try to find the bright light reflecting into the shade, as opposed to shining in directly, which creates burned out hot-spots and looks like crap. The reflected light however, creates these subtle and beautiful shades that bring out the hidden forms. Almost endless abstract possibilities here. This one in particular seems very pictorial.. I see it as a group of trees formed forever into the red rock walls of the cave. The favorite so far of my shots in this spot.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Valley of Fire: Beautiful Erosion

In one particular area of the VOF, there are these several square miles of eroded red sandstone, with literally tens of thousands, maybe millions, of small caves and hollows to explore. I spent one whole day rooting around in here, shooting the beautiful abstract forms formed by wind and water gradually eating away at the sandstone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Expedition: Nevada and Utah

Fall is always my favorite time of year for photography, followed closely by Winter. A lot of the places I like to photograph are just too dang hot in the Summer and somehow I can't get too excited about the plain blue skies and bright light that we have here in the southwest during the hot season.
On that note, I just got back from my (almost) annual "Fall Color Tour", so time to fire up the blog with some new work. This year, besides my usual, favorite foliage area, I scouted up a couple of new locations that I have never worked before and they turned out to be the real highlights of the trip.
The aspens in the higher elevations of the Cedar Breaks area where I always go had pretty much dropped all their leaves, since I was about a week behind the schedule I originally intended, but that's o.k... Fall is not just about foliage; it's the light and atmosphere of the season and there are lots of possible subjects if you think about it that way.

My first stop was at Valley of Fire in Nevada.  I can't count the times I have passed this place on my way up north.. partly because it is so hot much of the year and I had no idea it could be such a beautiful place, judging from the dry, flat, gray desert that you drive through most of the way to get here. I liked it so much that I spent an extra day and will definitely be going back often.
I've got a lot of raw material to go through and much of it is on film, which I haven't even sent out for processing yet, so it'll take a few weeks to work on everything and get it presentable... in the meantime I'll start with a few digital images that came out pretty good as-is.
This first shot is a general scenic view at Valley of Fire, shot in the late afternoon sun and I actually had to DE-saturate the colors a bit to make it believable:)