Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Overlooking the Colorado River at Dead Horse Point

One of the ways I have been wanting to make some changes in this blog was to show not only my camera on location but also what was the shot I got when I was there.  This being the first such example and is from a trip out to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks near Moab, Utah.

 One clear morning I left Canyonlands NP early and made my way over to the nearby Dead Horse Point State Park for the classic view it offered of the Colorado River.  I got there early, as always, and set up in the dark.  That helps get you a good spot and it gives me time to set up the 4x5.

Since it was my first time there, I stayed in the area most other photographers stayed.  Yes, it is a popular overlook, but it is popular for a reason-the view is awesome.

Since it was clear I set up to have little to no sky in my images.

Once there was light but long before sunrise I was able to confirm composition and focus.  A couple of test shots with the digital confirmed that the predawn light was already picking up nice color on the rocks and so I started making images.

Stayed at that spot until sunrise and continued making images.  By sunrise many other photographers had arrived and they all went crazy after the sun hit the rocks.  However, I think they missed the best light as the predawn glow on the rocks was much nicer.  The sunrise brought harsh light and deep shadows.  Certainly tough conditions and lack of clouds made it tougher.  I actually only took a few images after sunup.

Here you can see a couple of views of the Arca-Swiss set up on location.  One taken in predawn light and another towards the end of my shooting after the sun was in the canyon.  While the sun might have made a great B+W if there were clouds, I just was not sure anybody was getting anything great by then.

Finally there is the image I made on film at the top of the post.  Used my longer lens-the 210mm so I could exclude the sky and just pick up the canyon and river.  Film was Velvia 100.

If you make it out to Moab, do yourself a favor and do the drive up to Dead Horse Point for sunrise, but get there early if you do.

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