Archive for sunset

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



Featured Image – Horseshoe Bend @ Dusk

Posted in Featured Photos with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by macdanzig

Horseshoe Bend at Dusk


Technical Data:

Camera: Canon 5D

Lens: Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye

Aperture:  F/11

ISO: 100


Story behind the photo:

Hello, everyone and welcome to the first installment of my photography blog.   I plan on sharing with all of my readers, technical reviews on equipment and locations, as well as image processing techniques, essays on the art of still photography and detailed stories behind the capture of each image.   Thanks for reading.

On my way back from a photography trip early this past spring, which included Grand Teton National Park, Canyonlands and Monument Valley, I stopped by Page, Arizona again to visit a favorite spot of mine: Horseshoe bend.

For those of you who have not yet experienced this place, it is truly one of the most spectacular views in the American West.  Although it is fairly easily accessed via a one mile hike, and during tourist season is not exactly a place of complete solitude, the feeling you get looking out over the huge expanse of the Colorado River (1000 feet below) on the cliff’s edge is truly overwhelming.  There are rarely locations as immediately photogenic as Horseshoe Bend, but you have to do a little waiting to get the best light.
I wasn’t completely happy with the shots I got there the last time I stopped by, so I tried my hand at a sunset shot, this time using my Sigma 15mm fisheye (a lens I didn’t have during my last trip to this spot).
With my 5D mounted on my tripod, I bracketed 3 shots due to the heavy contrast of the scene.   The bend can be photographed during any time of the day with good results, but in order to get the sunset’s sky in it’s true beauty after the sun has already set on the horizon and left the foreground dark, one must either blend exposures, or use a Graduated Neutral Density filter.   In this case, a GND was not possible due to the physics of the fisheye lens I was using.
Those of you who know my work understand that although I don’t do HDR that often, when I do, I try to keep the realism of the scene, especially when dealing with images of nature. I have to say that I haven’t been truly happy with a landscape shot of mine like this in quite a while. It’s a good feeling.


thanks for looking




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