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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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