Photo Series: Get the Red Out.

Wave Monochrome 1 Spring Salon

Are the famed red rocks of the southwest USA always better in red? It depends on what you want to see. Here is my study of the The Wave, rendered in monochrome. Tell me how it succeeds — or not.

Wave Monochrome #11
Wave Monochrome #11
Wave Monochrome #10
Wave Monochrome #10
Wave Monochrome #9
Wave Monochrome #9
Wave Monochrome #8
Wave Monochrome #8
Wave Monochrome #7
Wave Monochrome #7
Wave Monochrome #6
Wave Monochrome #6
Wave Monochrome #5
Wave Monochrome #5
Wave Monochrome #4
Wave Monochrome #4
Wave Monochrome #3
Wave Monochrome #3
Wave Monochrome #2
Wave Monochrome #2

Streamside at White Pine, Utah

White Pine Streamside

Large-format landscape photography, as defined by Ansel Adams, enthralls me because of the exquisite detail in even in the most obscure parts of the photo. I could stand in front of such a print and look at it all day, examining every twig and grain of sand.

This photo, from a the White Pine trail in a mountain canyon outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, is in that spirit. I took this photo in 1970 on 4″ x 5″ color negative film, and recently had it scanned and converted to a digital file that came in at a huge 440 Mb. As much as I love digital photography, I still admire the incredible image quality those old view cameras and negative films can produce. (Pricing Schedule D)

Unfolding

It is not hard to find photos of Antelope Canyon, the famous “slot canyon” on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. Mine are a bit different, I think; I use High Dynamic Range techniques to bring out the texture and and detail of every shadow.

Antelope Canyon Produces amazing images, but the setting itself is small and simple. It is a narrow crevice with intricate turns cut down through a sandstone bluff by water and wind, perhaps 100 meters long and 20 meters tall. Direct sunlight reaches down to the bottom for less than an hour a day. This forces the photographer to plan his/her moves very carefully, as one will be scurrying around like a madman trying to take lots of photos before the sun goes away. (Price Schedule C)

Wadi Luab, Oman

Everywhere in the remote deserts of the Middle East are stunning natural landscapes that would be set aside as national parks or protected areas in more populated countries. The Musandam Penninsula of Oman is one such place. This stark landscape is shot through with deep gorges and high peaks that appear as nothing more than scorched and twisted rock in the mid-day sun. Mornings and evenings, however, the same rock glows with an inviting warmth. This October morning photograph shows a hint of that hidden beauty.

In this part of the world, anything from a shallow gully to a deep gorge gets the Arabic name “wadi” (وادي), but that hardly does justice to this deep cleft. As rugged as it is, it nevertheless hosts a popular trail given the name “Jungle Book” that continues far up to the high mountains. (Price Schedule G)

Boulders at Little Cottonwood, Utah

Little Cottonwood Boulders

When I was in college, around 1970, I would lug a 4 x 5 camera and big, ugly tripod around the mountains trying to be Ansel Adams. Not that I’m dissatisfied, but that didn’t quite work out — life intervened. But now I am back at it, and that’s what makes this photo special to me. It is nearly 50 years old, one of the few I have remaining from that camera and that era, but it is every bit the same as I remember that day. Originally it was an Ektacolor negative, and about 10 years ago I had it scanned and converted to a digital file which turned out huge — about 450 megabytes.

The fall colors in the oak leaves, the high relief of the granite boulder, the blue air — it all has a nice harmony. This spot in Little Cottonwood Canyon has many visitors, but most are not interested in the beauty — they come for the “bouldering.” Yes, around here are many large granite boulders with steep faces on which mountain climbers like to try out their risky moves. They fall only a few feet, and may get bruised but not maimed for life. I guess there is a certain beauty in that. (Price Schedule D)

 

Last Light, Cannon Beach

I just love the term “Last Light” and I undoubtedly use it too much in describing certain sunset photographs. It refers to the very last stages of the sunset, when most of the scene is dark and just a few elements of the picture still have that dim, orange rapidly fading light. I like it because is a natural way of editing what was a complex scene into just a few simple elements. This is a challenge photographers encounter in nearly every photograph. In the studio, it is an easy problem to solve, but when nature is operating the lights, things often seem out of control.

A photograph such as this one, in which the last light is the best possible light, paring the scene down to a beautiful simplicity, is a huge victory. It doesn’t happen every day. (Pricing Schedule D)

Mont Blanc Panorama

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Europe at 4809 meters, on the French-Italian border. The highest, that is, outside of Mt. Elbrus at 5642 meters in southern Russia near the Georgia border in the Caucasus range, which is still technically in Europe. And not to be confused with Jungfrau summit at 4158 meters in Switzerland, which is called the “Top of Europe” in promotional zeal but is not even close. In terms of bragging rights for highest point, it seems the war in Europe is still underway.

This panorama is taken from 75 km away near the summit of Plaine-Morte in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. The low cloud layer isolates the Mt. Blanc massif and heightens the sense of drama that this series of peaks exudes no matter how you experience it. And with this simple combination of rock, snow, and cloud, there is hardly a clue to tell you whether this is a color or black and white photo. (Price Schedule C)

Secret Chamber

It is not hard to find photos of Antelope Canyon, the famous “slot canyon” on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. Mine are a bit different, I think; many I see let the shadows obscure the texture and detail of the rock. However, I use High Dynamic Range Techniques make every grain of sand a part of the scene. This photo is one of my favorites because I used a “fisheye” lens, which distorts reality in crazy ways. Yet, this “Secret Chamber” scene looks, counter-intuitively, normal — a statement about how bizarre this formation really is.

Antelope Canyon Produces amazing images, but the setting itself is small and simple. It is a narrow crevice with intricate turns cut down through a sandstone bluff by water and wind, perhaps 100 meters long and 20 meters tall. Direct sunlight reaches down to the bottom for less than an hour a day. This forces the photographer to plan his/her moves very carefully, as one will be scurrying around like a madman trying to take lots of photos before the sun goes away. (Price Schedule D)

North Rim Panorama

Most people would tell you there is only one Grand Canyon. In reality, there are two; the South Rim, which everybody visits, and the North Rim, which sees much less attention. And the two places are quite different. The north is a completely different environment – high, colder, wetter, and more forested. The photography is different, too. In the north, morning light brings out the amazing textures structure, while evening light works best in the south. “Wotan’s Throne” is the striking feature highlighted here by the sunrise. (Price Schedule F)

Monument Valley Panorama

To a careless visitor, unwilling to venture off the main roads, Monument Valley can seem small and repetitive. One sandstone pinnacle seems just like the next. But if you are willing to kick up some dust and risk disorientation in the maze of canyons, cliffs, buttresses and towers, Monument Valley rewards you. And if you are willing to do that in the pre-dawn darkness, finding yourself deep inside its labyrinth when the sun rises, amazing things happen. Shadows and sandstone mingle in a sublime interplay of depth and distance.

This image is constructed of six separate frames digitally stitched with Panorama Maker 4.0 software by ArcSoft. Barely noticeable in the left middle foreground is a hogan, the traditional round dwelling of the Navajo tribe of native Americans. (Price Schedule C)

Inner Sanctum

It is not hard to find photos of Antelope Canyon, the famous “slot canyon” on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. This is from my first visit to Antelope Canyon many years ago,Before I began using High Dynamic Range techniques at this site. These images, especially this narrow slot I call the “Inner Sanctum,” let the shadows come on strong as a contrast to the brilliant sunbeams.

Antelope Canyon produces amazing images, but the setting itself is small and simple. It is a narrow crevice with intricate turns cut down through a sandstone bluff by water and wind, perhaps 100 meters long and 20 meters tall. Direct sunlight reaches down to the bottom for less than an hour a day. This forces the photographer to plan his/her moves very carefully, as one will be scurrying around like a madman trying to take lots of photos before the sun goes away. (Price Schedule F)

Heart of Darkness

It is not hard to find photos of Antelope Canyon, the famous “slot canyon” on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. This image is from my first trip to the site many years ago and does not use the High Dynamic Range technique that I’ve used on later visits. I gave it the name “Heart of Darkness” for the central dark stone formation which seems to me like a caped, malevolent bird of prey.

Antelope Canyon Produces amazing images, but the setting itself is small and simple. It is a narrow crevice with intricate turns cut down through a sandstone bluff by water and wind, perhaps 100 meters long and 20 meters tall. Direct sunlight reaches down to the bottom for less than an hour a day. This forces the photographer to plan his/her moves very carefully, as one will be scurrying around like a madman trying to take lots of photos before the sun goes away. (Price Schedule F)

North Face, Grand Teton

It is useless to try and out-do all the endless superlatives that have been written about the Teton Range, the centerpiece of Grand Teton National Park. For me, their attraction is their yin-yang balance between abrupt, in-your-face brashness and gentle harmony with land and sky. You can watch them a lifetime and they are never the same twice.

Here, I was trying for a nice sunrise alpenglow kind of shot, but the clouds and wind washed it out. But, knowing that patience is a virtue with this subject, I waited for the clouds to break up and allow beams of sun to wash over the snow and rocks. Magic! (Pricing Schedule E)

Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon

If you visit Bryce Canyon National Park and neglect to descend from the canyon rim into the disorienting world of the “hoodoos,” you have shortchanged yourself. Hiking the trails finds you alternately in deep shade and bright sun. Redrock towers swirl and lean and spin around you. Pine trees and shrubs fight to capture a bit of light. Nothing is level. You massage your neck, stiff from constantly looking upward. It is something similar to seasickness you feel.

Capturing such a feeling in an image is very difficult. My initial impulse was to correct all the spatial craziness, but I eventually saw the impossibility of this. The answer is to go with it — lean into the distortion. So I hauled out my ultra-wide angle lens, the one that tilts everything it sees, and sought out the most convoluted scenes I could find. This image gets it about right — the feeling of being deep inside the guts of Bryce Canyon. (Price Schedule F)

Cannon Beach Sunset

On the misty, stormy Oregon coast, nice sunsets don’t come along every day — and often, there’s more than one good composition to be created from a given sunset. There’s the dilemma: With several good photos possible, which do you do? I’ve never liked that choice, and sometimes I madly try to capture more than one good scene per sunset. That was the case here at Cannon Beach. See the far ridge on the right horizon in this photo? I was there, taking another shot, less than 10 minutes before taking this one. How did I get from there to here, and set up, in such a short time? Let’s just say it’s one of those things you don’t need to know — another mystery that makes art attractive. (Pricing Schedule C)

Breaking Wave

“The Wave” is a sandstone rock formation in northern Arizona that is a frequent photographic subject. It is in the backcountry, several hours’ hike from the nearest road, and camping is not permitted by the government stewards. For that reason most of the photos from here are taken at midday and are unfortunately ordinary because midday light is harsh and blue.

For the sake of art, I broke the rules and stayed overnight because I wanted to explore this site in the warm, red, flat light of dusk and dawn. I was very pleased with the results of this wanton lawbreaking, capturing these phenomenal natural abstractions in a unique light. Enjoy the sublime and improbable wildness of The Wave.

Aquamarine

It is not hard to find photos of Antelope Canyon, the famous “slot canyon” on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. Mine are a bit different, I think; many try to expose the entire scene and capture every detail of every piece of rock. However, I find the shadows to be intriguing spaces and I try to give them a share of the stage

Antelope Canyon Produces amazing images, but the setting itself is small and simple. It is a narrow crevice with intricate turns cut down through a sandstone bluff by water and wind, perhaps 100 meters long and 20 meters tall. Direct sunlight reaches down to the bottom for less than an hour a day. This forces the photographer to plan his/her moves very carefully, as you will be scurrying around like a crazy person trying to take lots of photos before the sun goes away.

This photo gets its title, Aquamarine, from the color of the light beam. The beam gets its color from the Tyndall Effect, a phenomenon of physics in which the dust particles are exactly the right size to transmit most of the colors of the light spectrum and reflect only the blue.