Archive for island in the sky

Featured Photo – Green River Sunset – Canyonlands

Posted in Featured Photos with tags , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by macdanzig

Technical Data:

Camera:  Canon 1Ds MkII

Lens:   24-105mm f/4 L at 45mm

Aperture:  f/11

ISO:  100

Post Processing:  3 images blended using “Exposure Fusion” in Photomatix Pro.  Adobe CS4 for finishing adjustments.


This is one of those photos that really reminds me of the place and time in which it was taken – and evokes the same feeling as when I took it….   Canyonlands National Park in Utah is one of my favorite places on earth.  It sees far less visitors every year than it’s sister, Arches National Park and for my money is probably the second most amazing large area (geologically speaking) in the southwest.

The evening I shot this, I was originally planning on going to Dead Horse Point for sunset, but some Japanese large-format photographers I met up with at False Kiva that day convinced me to go to the Green River overlook instead.  I’m glad they did.   There was a storm off in the distance looking westward and just after the sun set, an afterglow lit up the rain clouds.

Standing at the edge of the cliff in the ‘Island in the Sky’ district that overlooks the Green River and White Rim road, you are 1500 feet above the foreground you see in the photo.  This kind of height almost lends itself to an ‘aerial’  sort of feel.

It took me a long time to finally get to this one in my back catalog and I’m not sure why, but I’m fairly certain it has something to do with the fact that I am a procrastinator when it comes to processing bracketed exposures…  For the processing, I used Photomatix’s ‘exposure fusion’ algorithm, rather than ‘merge to HDR’…   Darwin Wiggett first told me about exposure fusion not too long ago and I love the results when compared to making HDRs, which depending on the scene, can often look garish and unnatural no matter how much time you put into them.

Here is what my settings looked like for the three bracketed exposures that I blended.

I then sent it to CS4 and did some levels adjustments, as well as a subtle Selective Color layer and sharpening.

thanks for looking