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Southwest Photography Adventure

Part 3 – Photographing the Sun

Late afternoon sun over the Three Sisters in Monument Valley © 2013 Bob Harvey

Late afternoon sun over the Three Sisters in Monument Valley
© 2013 Bob Harvey

One of the big reasons we love the Southwest is that it lends itself to big bold compositions, with strong simple lines.  Photographing the sun in the Southwest highlights some of the best of that – with shadows often dropping to deep blacks, leaving only the sun, the sky, a black outline of the landscape, and those interesting patterns the sun makes bouncing around inside your lens!

Sunrise © 2013 Bob Harvey

Sunrise
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Sunrise presents a great opportunity for such a design, allowing you to paint the sky with those early morning colors.

Sunrise © 2013 Bob Harvey

Sunrise
© 2013 Bob Harvey

And to design with big bold shapes and lines!

But, these days, with more bit depth and greater dynamic range in our RAW captures, there are even more opportunities.  Sometimes we can capture the drama of the sun, but also a sense of the scene – more than just bold outlines.  Sometimes we can create images that make us feel the bright sun pouring into the scene, washing color into an otherwise black and white world!

First light at the totems, Monument Valley © 2013 Bob Harvey

First light at the totems, Monument Valley
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Monument Valley © 2013 Bob Harvey

Monument Valley
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The recent improvements in bit depth and dynamic range have opened a whole new world of opportunities to compose – while including the sun!

Honeymoon Arch  © 2013 Bob Harvey

Honeymoon Arch
© 2013 Bob Harvey

And, don’t forget those great rays… like this pair in Lower Antelope Canyon!

Rays in Lower Antelope Canyon © 2013 Bob Harvey

Rays in Lower Antelope Canyon
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

The world of photography has never been filled with so many opportunities.  There was a time when photographers were advised to keep the sun over a shoulder, never including it in an image.  Now, it is an important part of the landscape photographer’s subject.

Note that no special filters were used for the images above.  Neither was any special process – nor the integration of multiple images through HDR.

Join us next fall as we explore the desert Southwest in search of bold photographic opportunities.  We’ll help you master the techniques you’ll use to bring back dramatic images.  Check out our Southwest Adventure at www.naturephotographyadventures.com/workshop/monument.htm

 

 

 

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Southwest Photography Adventure

Part 1 – The Magic of the Southwest

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Eye of the Sun
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The Southwest is an amazing region to visit – and a great set of photographic opportunities for those who come with cameras!  Pop-out colors combine with big bold lines to carve out stunning compositions – and there is no end to the photography play that a creative photographic mind can encounter.

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Mittens at first light
© 2013 Bob Harvey

We love to bring photographers to this region.  Not only can we put them in great places in great light – but it is the perfect laboratory for participants to master a number of crucial skills.

In this land of strong lines and bold colors, one can tackle the issues of composition and design – without having to worry about working around the complexities found in many other compositional environments.  Learn it here – apply it everywhere else in the world!

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Late light in Mystery Valley
© 2013 Bob Harvey

This is the place to really grasp taking control of metering and exposure.  In this environment you can control the exposure, learn from your mistakes, review trials and adjust exposures until you have perfect images.  Along the way you can build an approach and rhythm that will pay you back everywhere you explore with your cameras.

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Dunes at dawn
© 2013 Bob Harvey

This is a land of deep saturated colors.  Here, often the dynamic range exceeds what one can capture in a single image.  This is a place to learn to design with color… and with deep black shadows…

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Lower Antelope Slot Canyon
© 2013 Bob Harvey

And a place where sometimes you want to throw away all color and “see” the composition in black and white!

Anasazi Granary in Honeymoon Arch, Mystery Valley © 2013 Bob Harvey

Anasazi Granary in Honeymoon Arch, Mystery Valley
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

Our October 2013 group came home with an outstanding selection of new images.  Techniques were mastered.  Magic moments in nature were witnessed!  Adventures were shared!  We’ll blog more about this in the coming days!
Next up:  Photographing the Moon!

Don’t forget to visit our web page on the Southwest at http://www.naturephotographyadventures.com/workshop.photo.monument.htm

 

 

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