Tag Archives: rock

Yoga Meditation (or Balanced Rock at Twilight)

Balanced Rock at twilight

Shooting famous, over-photographed landmarks such as balanced rock in Utah’s Arches National Park challenges the photographer to come up with images that are not cliche, that portray such landmarks in a different light, from a different perspective or in a fresher way.

Silhouetting your subject may be a way to reinterpret such well-known scenes. Silhouetting essentially transposes your 3D subject into a 2D world, so shape becomes key for a successful silhouette. Thus, moving around your subject, changing your angle of view may radically  alter your final image, the 2D rendition of your subject.

When I saw a sunset with potential (because of some lingering clouds) behind me, I quickly hiked to the other side of balanced rock and moved around until that impressive rock formation took on the shape (at least in my eyes) of a person sitting before a beautiful sunset in a yoga meditation position. Click, click, and there we go: a symbolic rendition of balanced rock! 😉

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

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Landscape Arch at Night and a Few Night Photography Tips

Landscape Arch at night

I took this image of Landscape Arch at Arches National Park at night (which you actually can see much better on my Web site), with the lights of the town of Moab in the background. With certain over photographed subjects, sometimes you need to be creative to come up with images that are not cliché and that still represent those towering creations of nature in their beauty and wildness. Night photography can be an option to resort to, if you are prepared to adjust your meal schedule around it and if you master the technique to get the shot.

A few tips on night photography:

1. Scout your spot earlier in the day to previsualize your shot and identify where precisely you will want to set up later in the day

2. Get to your spot before sunset so, if suitable, you can squeeze in some bonus sunset shots but most importantly you can set up your gear, frame your shot and focus when you can still see something!

3. If you shoot digital, (i) make sure the long exposure noise reduction function of your camera and, if it has one, its mirror lock up feature are activated; (ii) secure your camera to a sturdy tripod; (iii) with your camera in M exposure mode, set your aperture to a low f/stop (say anywhere between f/2.8 and f/4.0 or thereabouts) and set your shutter speed and ISO to a base exposure (of course, you will have to slow down your shutter speed as the night progresses); (iv) if you have a cable release (which you definitely should), connect it to your camera

4. Shoot a series of images, starting from twilight (when the sky will still be tinged with delicate orange, pink, magenta and violet hues) going forward to when the sky will turn pitch black, adjusting your exposure accordingly

5. Decide whether you want the stars to record as dots or streaks of light (star trails) and set your shutter speed/ISO accordingly (for best results, try to keep your ISO as low as possible, but you may have to compromise a bit): as a rule of thumb, bear in mind that anything slower than say 15/20 sec will cause at least some of the stars to streak noticeably – for pleasing star trails you will need exposures north of 30 seconds up to several minutes or even hours (the longer the exposure, the longer the trails – remember, every time you double the time the shutter stays open, with the others parameters staying the same, you add one extra stop of light to your exposure): this means that on your camera your shutter speed dial shall be set to Bulb and you will have to use a cable release and to experiment timing your exposure yourself (an illuminated digital watch may come in handy)

6. Be aware that the longer your exposure, the greater the chances that orbiting satellites and commercial airplanes will ruin your shot leaving all sorts of dotted luminous trails across it…

And by the way, today in the US is Nature Photography Day, a day that in the last 8 years has been designated by NANPA (the North American Nature Photography Association) “to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide”. So, if you are game, you might as well be inspired by the night photography tips on this post and go out with your camera and tripod tonight to give it a shot!  🙂

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

American Graffiti

Sego Canyon (UT) Pictographs and Century Old Graffiti

I took this image of ancient Native American petroglyphs in Utah’s Sego Canyon, not far from Thompson Springs. These petroglyphs were scratched on the rocks of Sego Canyon by Native Americans of the Fremont Culture, who lived in the area between 600 and 1250 of the Common Era. As you will notice, however, just by looking at the top left quarter of the image above, more recent graffiti were also scratched on those very same rocks, right by the Fremont petroglyphs.

When I was framing this image, I wanted to convey the juxtaposition of “ancient graffiti” like the Fremont petroglyphs with relatively speaking more modern graffitis that two different people, seemingly in 1884 and in 1902, felt the need to scratch right next to (if not directly on) those vestiges of the past.

Which begs the question: considering that those “younger” graffiti are by now more than a century old, does age make them more acceptable to us viewers? Do you see them as a “work of art in the work of art” or as the condemnable act of vandals who inexorably defaced that precious Native American rock art?

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

The River

Stubborn dogwood (Cornus nuttallii Audubon)

Readers who have been following this blog since the inception may recall that I very much like dogwood, of which I have already published a close-up of a blossom in a previous post.

This photograph of a small dogwood tree, stubbornly clinging to a rock in the middle of an impetuous river is another image that I hold dear because I think it clearly conveys a message of resilience and will to survive against all odds. Two very positive messages, if you ask me.

The black & white rendition simplifies the image to its graphic elements and amplifies the yin-yang contrast between the dark and the light portions of the image, that balance each other out nicely, as if divided by an imaginary diagonal line.

Oh yeah, the title for this post pays homage to my favorite Springsteen song 🙂

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)