If I had a preference of when best to shoot photos I would say early morning, just before the sun rises. I feel like the cooler blue tones of the morning tend to create a better range of colors than the sunset time of day, which tends to be warmer and redder. I think this morning shot is a perfect example, especially with the orange and red rock to compliment the cool blue tones in the shadows.
This is another shot I took from White Pocket near the Utah-Arizona border. As you can see the surreal rock formations are quite a sight to behold.
This Fourth of July I missed the usual fireworks show while we were up in Oakhurst, but I made sure not to miss the natural fireworks show which was at it's best around midnight. Finding the milky way took some work to find thanks to the light from the moon and the nearby cities, but as you can see the camera picked it up fine.
As our little group was planning out our trip through Utah and Arizona one of the places we all agreed that we needed to visit was White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. It may not get the press of it's nearby neighbor 'The Wave' in the Coyote Buttes but I think it easily surpasses it in it's visual wonder. The variety of colors, texture and layers is nothing short of spectacular.
As my father-in-law put it looks like this whole region was mixed up in a cake mixer.
One of the great highlights of the trip was visiting the Cedar Mesa region in southeastern Utah. A pretty remote region peppered with ancient indian cliff dwellings that were built over a thousand years ago. It was pretty surreal to wander down into various canyons and washes and to stumble across an ancient dwelling peppered with pottery fragments and arrowheads (I never saw any arrowheads for the record). This is an area I would definitely like to spend more time exploring.
I normally don't include myself in my own work but for this piece I think it helped make the shot. If you look closely I show up four times in this picture. This image was taken at Millennium Park in Chicago, I got up extra early to capture this moment before the crowds started to make it difficult to get a clear shot of this popular sculpture.
If you aren't familiar with the bean here's a more traditional shot of it on my instagram feed.
This week's photo has a funny little story connected to it. Three weeks ago on my trip through Utah we were able visit this iconic spot on the Colorado River, not far from Lake Powell and Page, Arizona. Then two weeks later I happened to fly over the same area on a business trip, and was able to spot it from the plane with the help of Google maps, a fun little serendipity.
Seeing this arch in person was really eye opening. It's quite smaller than you think, the opening of the arch is maybe 20-25 feet at it's widest. The best time to see this arch is in the morning when the sunrise strikes it, creating quite a spectacular frame for the canyon below.
Because of the view you do have to fight a significant crowd of photographers to get your shot. The shot below was about an hour before the sun hit the arch.
On my trip to Utah I had grand plans to try a lot of night photography, including capturing a shot of the milky way. Little did I know that of the five nights we were camping I would get only one clear night. Thankfully it ended being a great night, errr... morning to capture the starry landscape.
Over the Memorial Weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to explore the eastern and southern parts of Utah. The main reason for the trip was to retrieve our dogs which my brother-in-law and his wife so graciously took care of in Denver while Heidi was going through cancer treatments. That being said it gave us a good reason to explore a region I had never been.
Below is an image of the popular Double Arch in Arches National Park, I was trying out Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2 software which helped create the excellent black-and-white image. I have always wanted to revisit black-and-white photography but I was never satisfied with the tools in Photoshop and Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro make me do more black-and-white.
I nearly stepped on the subject of this week's photo. I was in the area photographing the Brea Dam (see last week's photo). It just goes to show that you need to keep your eyes open when you wander a familiar area, you never know what you might miss. This wildflower is quite beautiful and fragile all-in-one.
This piece is a continuation of my experimentation on nearby locale. With this composition I was experimenting unifying three separate into one image. The wide angle distortion of the 22mm makes an overlap that doesn't quite match up.
The Brea Dam is just off the Fullerton Loop trail. My first photo for this project was posted a couple of weeks ago and I will slowly add to a Brea Dam gallery here as I continue to explore various angles and views of this great structure.
Last week Heidi and I were able to get out of town to nearby Lake Arrowhead for an early celebration of our wedding anniversary before her surgery, courtesy of my parents. Thankfully is was pretty quiet and very beautiful. Our last day was quite blustery as you will see some of these photos, enjoy.
Also just a reminder I am having a sale on my Etsy site, 20% off all order $16 or higher (including custom orders) Use the coupon code METAL20 while checking out. Sale ends Wednesday May 7. Click here to view the sale.