Posts Tagged Sunrise

Kinsee to Kaintsee

Well, you know photographers are supposed to get up in the middle of the night to find sunrise, then stay up till after dark to capture sunset. Makes sense, it’s when the best light occurs. Generally speaking I’m not a very good early riser. I figure if I get up in the morning the whole world owes me something. Here’s an example of how it pays off (click on the images to view them):

Dead Horse Point, Sunrise

Dead Horse Point Sunrise

Dead Horse Point Sunrise

 

And here’s an example of why you should hang around for the afternoon light:

Fisher Towers, Sunset

Fisher Towers Susnet

Fisher Towers Susnet

 

More to follow,

Bob

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I’m Incorrigible

I had to head back to Laramie a day early and wanted to start early in the day. I figured if I got back at a decent time I’d be able to get some rest and have a little time to decompress. I had no plans to stop at Factory Butte. After all, we had already been there for a hike and I managed not to take any photos of the monolith. One day at a time is what it takes to break an addiction and photographing the Butte is truly my worst habit.

I headed out on Highway 24 before dawn (easy when daylight savings time rears its ugly head), and thought I’d make it past the Butte before the light got good. No way. Here’s what I was compelled to stop and shoot:

The light was pretty good, but the only light that was hitting the butte was reflected from the clouds. The sky was pretty dramatic, so I thought a black-and-white would do it justice.

Factory Butte Sunrise 1

Factory Butte Sunrise 1

But the colors were changing and these looked about right (remember, click on the image to see larger (and more color-accurate versions):

Factory Butte Sunrise 2

Factory Butte Sunrise 2

More to follow,

Bob

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Obsessive? Compulsive? Why not?

OK, I admit it, and have all along. I am obsessive when it comes to finding a good foto of a particular location. Regular readers will remember seeing several images of Factory Butte. You will also remember I said I’d continue to photograph it until I got it right. Here are two more images. Each has a little something going for it. While the sunrise color is not precisely what I was looking for, the new angle helped some and a little post-processing enhanced (but did not change) the color. Except for the second one.

 

Factory Butte. Sunrise

Factory Butte. Sunrise

Factory Butte, Sunrise, Monochrome

Factory Butte, Sunrise, Monochrome

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People and Places

Oh, the people I travel with and the places I go. Here are two examples of what I have to put up with in the canyon country:

Aunt Fred

Aunt Fred

First up is Nick, or as he is sometimes fondly referred to, “Aunt Fred.” Aunt Fred came from a misunderstanding of a line from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” John thought Eric Idle was saying “Bring out Aunt Fred.” Well, anyway, we couldn’t let the name to, so… I’ve got a lot of desert miles with Nick and have learned about his fetish for desert buckwheat. I’ve never seen him war it, though.

 

Tony

Tony

I’ve mostly hiked with Tony in the mountains, but am getting him trained for the desert. He’s a good hiker, a little more willing than I am to overdo it, but that’s OK, I probably could benefit from a push here and there. Tony is always ready to pose for a hero shot. I’ll leave the embarrassing ones out.

But here’s where we went today: Factory Butte at sunrise. I’ve photographed this icon about a million times and have yet to get the ideal shot.

Factory Butte, Sunrise

Factory Butte, Sunrise

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Pining for the Fjords Desert

Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Between travel to huge population centers and catching the flu after getting a flu shot, I’ve been away from the camera and the computer far too long.

And, to top it all off, it’s been forever since I’ve seen redrock. It must be time to go South.

We’ll have our big Spring Break fling, of course, but I wonder if I can last that long?

Was gonna go over Thanksgiving, but plans get changed, then the changed plans get changed and, well, Laramie was pretty boring except for a dear friend who fed me the traditional Thanksgiving ham!

Where would I go? Factory Butte, of course. Factory Butte is one of my favorite landmarks. It dominates the landscape for miles around, it’s surrounded by land one wouldn’t think would support any sort of life, it’s an amazing formation that I’ve photographed a zillion or so times, but the really good image is yet to come. Here’s a sample of what can be done with that gray monolith:

Factory Butte, Sunrise

Factory Butte, Sunrise

Did I say gray? Yes, that’s right: It’s a dark gray. But, of course, that neutral color is affected by the quality of the light hitting it, so the ruddy sunrise illumination adds a color that isn’t imagined the first time you see the butte in full daylight. This wonderfully stark feature has so many surprises, including the four wheelers that trespass on the pristine land and leave tracks that last for decades. Ah, but I digress.

Gotta get to the desert. I wonder if Santa will find me there?

More to follow,

Bob

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The rewards of early rising (part 2)

Well, the day before this we started at 4 a.m. and I was whining the whole day. This day we started at 3 a.m. because we had quite a drive ahead of us. I whined the whole day, but louder.

When we got to the Wahweap Wash Hoodos we found that it was infested with Germans. I suppose I shouldn’t complain because my heritage is half German, but that’s the way it was. It was kinda comical, as so many photo shoots are: people lined up to get the “right” shot, with tripod legs overlapping, everyone checking out the others’ equipment to be sure they were using the right lens, etc. And crowded. There must have been ten people there. I decided to pick a different spot for a couple reasons. First, I’m getting so clumsy I might have tripped over someone’s tripod or equipment bag and second, I didn’t need exactly the same image they were all getting.

By setting up a little lower on the hill, I still got the striking sunrise colors, but with a different angle I could play with. And I got to wander around because I didn’t have to pick my way through the tripod forest, always a good deal. I saw a second hoodoo that was going to get some good light, too, so while I waited for the sun to hit the first hoodoo, I planned the second shot. All I’d have to to is make the first exposures, then quickly move to the second location and get it, too. Sometimes I amaze myself by actually planning something right.

On the way out we ran into some more Germans looking for the Wahahahahaweeep hoodoos. We told them where to go.

This first image is almost getting to be cliché, it’s done by so many photographers. It’s nice, to be sure and the area is stunning, it just gets a lot of traffic.

Photograhs form Southern Utah and Grand Canyon

Wahweap Hoodoo, Sunrise

This is what looking around will help the photographer find.

Photograhs form Southern Utah and Grand Canyon

Wahweap Hoodoo, Sunrise #2

More to follow.

Bob

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The rewards of early rising

OK, I’m the first to admit I’m a slug-a-bed. I hate getting up in the morning. In fact if I get out of bed, I figure the world owes me something.

But as a photographer, I am supposed to be up early and on the road to catch sunrise. I hate the early reveille, but the rewards are sometimes worth it. Take this day, for instance. We agreed to start at 4 a.m. to get to Cape Royal on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. After driving through the pitch dark and getting there as the sky lightened, we hurried to the overlook and set up. Before long we got what photographers are constantly looking for: Soft, warm sunlight as the star passes over the horizon and shapely clouds to add interest to the sky. The image below is (oh, I hate to make this public: so many angry ‘purists’ carp and argue about using the process) an HDR image. That is, it’s three exposures, one to capture the highlights properly, one for the middle tones and one to be sure the shadows aren’t pitch black. Photoshop now does a pretty good job of combining the three images to balance the local contrast and we get the following image. The clouds were moving some, so they register differently on the three images and, therefore, show motion in the final product, but clouds move. Nothing we can do about that. (Be sure to click on the images to see a larger view with much better color rendition.)

Photographs from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunrise, Wotans Throne

A few minutes later, Rodger was standing next to me, holding something in his hand. “You can try this if you want,” he said. I checked it out and it was a 14mm lens. Super-wide angle. At first I thought it would be too much, but decided to try it. I slapped it on the camera, then composed the image. It took a while because this lens is so wide that the feet of my tripod were in the image at first. Once I got things shifted around and the lens pointed up, the light was a little more open and I didn’t need to make an HDR exposure series. This is a pretty straight capture from the camera. Now I gotta get a wide lens. Or spend more time in the field with Rodger. Either one would be good.

Photographs from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunrise, Wotans Throne #2

More to follow.

Bob

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