Tower Butte at Dawn

Tower Butte at Dawn
Tower Butte at Dawn by I Nancy, on Flickr

I think it is going to take me some time to complete my edits from my trip to Utah and each time I dip back into the well, something else surprises me.

On the morning after The Wave, I opened my eyes just before dawn and saw this incredible scene begin to unfold. While the others stayed at the Quality Inn, Chick and I had ended up at the Lake Powell Resort with a lake facing view. At first I closed my eyes again, then a voice in my little brain said: “You came all this way and here is this beautiful sunrise unfolding, get up and get your tripod out and take some pictures”. And so I did.

I took several images over the course of the 20 minutes or so that it took the sun to rise. I kind of knew that the early pictures were just tests and unconsciously I used them to tweak the composition and exposure. With the bright light coming, I knew I wanted to take some brackets that I could layer together later. A very dark exposure for the sun and brighter exposures for the sky and lake. This is a 3 shot bracket with the sun brought back in from the darkest image. I like the subtle star at f/11 and I am glad I didn’t use anything smaller. The textures on the lake were brought in with the HDR software as well as the subtle layers (perhaps not visible in the small image here) on the buttes in silhouette. The heavy sky was created by smoke from a fire in the Salt Lake region. It provided just the ceiling this sunrise needed to reflect all of its glory.

The Beauty of Time

The Beauty of Time
The Beauty of Time by I Nancy, on Flickr

More from the incredible Lower Antelope Canyon just outside of Page Arizona. If you want an ego boost with the opportunity to take many wonderful images, this is the place to visit. There is one simple rule – you will need a sunny day to get the textures and variations of light, however do not include the sky in your shot. This shot (and several others) were done with -1, 0, +1 bracketing HDR. I used a subtle technique, but the HDR is why all the textures and stripes are so visible and how I controlled both the highlights and shadows.

At the Edge

At the Edge
At the Edge by I Nancy, on Flickr

I’ve heard many photographers say that it takes a few weeks to get perspective on their photos after a trip. This is the case with this image of Horseshoe Bend, just south of Page Arizona. The photography at this spot is very predictable and the more traditional view has been taken by many people. While I was there, I remember thinking, “What shall I do that is different”? This image wasn’t one of those that stood out as something I needed to look at when I got back, but today, a few weeks after the trip, it captured my fancy. It  struck me for how different a take it was on the tried and true. You still see the big plateau and the mini-rock slide. You don’t see the 1000 foot drop, but instead the foreground rocks drawing you into the image.

I’m glad I found it.

Solitary Hiker

Solitary Hiker
Solitary Hiker by I Nancy, on Flickr

I’m part way through editing my images from our hike to The Wave. Here is an image of Chick, my husband, sitting nonchalantly at the entrance. More rocks, but this one with some attitude. The human element adds a sense of scale and gives the viewer something to identify with. I’ve also captured four different directions of sandstone caught in four different lighting conditions. This is such an amazing place.

A Glimpse of The Wave

A Glimpse of the Wave
A Glimpse of the Wave by I Nancy, on Flickr

Our photo trip to Utah centered around a 2.7 mile hike over red slickrock and through sandy canyons to a sandstone structure known as simply as The Wave. A remarkable sight of eroded sandstone like you have never seen before. The day we hiked in the temperatures were in the upper 90’s with not a cloud in the sky. Here is my first post from the day’s shoot. Everyone gets the iconic Wave image, here is a little different view looking up the wave instead of down.