Bryce Canyon Sunrise

Bryce Canyon Sunrise
Bryce Canyon Sunrise by I Nancy, on Flickr

This image was taken in late September at Bryce Canyon during the Utah photo trek with my friends from the Thousand Oaks Photo Group. Although the clouds were a welcome sight in the sky, it made the sunrise and sunset shots difficult as they also diffused the light hitting the hoodoos. In this image the light hitting the hoodoos on the left edge is balanced with the dark clouds on the upper right. A 2:1 panoramic crop provides a sense of expanse.

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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.