Monday, May 3, 2010

Look, Over There

Easy to get caught up in the mittens at Monument Valley -- like any iconic scene. You want to shoot it over and over. You get blinders on. But after we arrived in Monument Valley and after staring at the mittens for a while and taking some shots I realized that the scene above was in the opposite sky. I then proceeded to shoot it over and over - single frames, bracketing all over the place, panos, verticals, and horizontals - for the better part of two days. I randomly picked this set of brackets out of the bunch to process through Photomatix Pro -- five bracketed exposures, base frame at f/11 and 1/180 sec. Processed a little further in Photoshop with Topaz Adjust. Never ceases to amaze what bracketing and HDR can do to heighten the visual interest in a sky. Sometimes it looks like the apocolypse, other times it looks like an impressionist painting. The more I use HDR, the more I tend to use some restraint, hence the painterly look here. As I look at this scene, I think I could add some green to the left side in the valley. But you also have the long shadow across the field. I dunno, strong elements here, but I have the feeling something's missing to really put it over the top.


  1. It's a pretty sweet set of shots made into one really nice photo. Something may be missing, but I cannot quite put my finger on it yet. I really miss the southwest after seeing your shots.

  2. This image looks pretty fantastic to me. I do not see that something is missing at all, there is so much for the eye to explore around the whole frame. You certainly got lucky with that amazing sky. By adding green do you mean increase the saturation in the desert plants there? The color, although strong, all looks very real and natural in both the sky and the rocks. Maybe you just need a boy with his dog, ala LJP.

  3. Stunning image. Not sure which I like better: how the light makes for interesting shadows which gives the foreground depth or the great cloud formations which do the same. The color contrast also is wonderful--it makes the desert elements come forward while pushing the sky to the background. Really nice photo.

    I can give you the number of the boy and dog if you really need it. Personally, I do not think this photo needs anything.

  4. That's what it needs; Larry P's boy and his dog! Just kidding of course. I've spent a little time looking it over and think you are over thinking it. AS Cindi and Larry have indicated, the photo stands on its own.

  5. Beautiful...appealing...relaxing. Just down right nice!

  6. Gorgeous landscape Steve!

    You should be proud of this one! Wish I had taken it!