Tag Archives: Arches National Park

In Service of the Print

In the spring of 2013, I was preparing for my biggest road trip ever. I knew that I was going to take a lot of photos of 4 incredible destinations. I was trying to learn as much as I could about photography. I came across a Youtube video by B&H about HDR photography by Alan Kesselhaut (youtube link [http://youtu.be/v3CPavb2NWs] / Alan’s site: http://www.alankesselhaut.com/]. He said something 23 minutes into that video that struck me, that what we do in photography is “in service of the print.”  If you’re interested in watching the video, be prepared, it’s long, but very informative even if it’s almost 3 years old.

I recently made several prints. I made a calendar using several photos and three large prints of my photos. The calendar was great. I used Picaboo [http://www.picaboo.com/]. I knew nothing of them before I tried their service. I thought it was worth a shot to see if they are any good. I have to say they are GREAT! The photos had a nice glossy finish and the card stock for each pages is really sturdy. The binding wires are also good quality and makes for easy flipping of the pages. Based on this, I think they probably produce good prints with their other services.

The following are the prints I used for the calendar:

I am THRILLED about my large prints, however. I used Bay Photo [http://www.bayphoto.com]. I’ve heard nothing but good things from them. Now, I made a print on a piece of metal, but it was a SMALL metal print. But something happens with the large print. I requested a 48″ wide print of my photo of Chicago’s skyline that I like to call “Chicago on Liquid Lights”. This was printed on a “Pearl” paper. It’s priced a little higher than their “Metal” paper option. It is AMAZING. I can’t say that enough. The lights of the City of Chicago look simply amazing. AMAZING!

Chicago on Liquid Lights

My other photo I made was am 18″ x 24″ of the photo I call, “The L Runs Through It”. The paper and print I used was identical, the pearl paper. Again, I was absolutely thrilled with the print. The blue hour sky was amazing. The lights of the buildings were great, but the light representing the train’s long exposure was crazy good! There is something about the paper that reflects light in an amazing way. I don’t know how else to explain it.

The Chicago L going through the near north side of city center.
The L going through the near north side of Chicago just before it crosses the Chicago River into the “Loop”.

Another photo I printed was among the first photos I took with my NEX-7. It was a photo of a gate in Libertyville called the “Liberty Walk”. The gateway is just an alley between two buildings to get you to the parking lot. But the walls were made of brick, the cement walkway was wet, too. There were lights that had a starburst in the image. The brick walls were also wet, too. Again, the print looks great.

Liberty Walk

I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Inside the Window

Inside the windowSunrise inside the North Window Arch at Arches National Park.Sometimes you just got to go black and white with the red sandstone at Arches National Park. There’s so much detail in the rock and so much natural contrast that color is just a distraction.

Inside the window
Sunrise from inside the North Window Arch at Arches National Park, Moab, UT.

North Window Arch (My gateway to The Arcanum)

This is another photo that I had redone after getting more knowledge from The Arcanum. This is a recent photo. In fact, I had taken this photo ONE DAY before I got the e-mail telling me that my mentor / master, had chosen me. It was also among the first photos I processed from my vacation. I was very excited to have this photo when I first posted it. I still am proud of the photo. But I know that I would have been far more effective taking another photo like this in the future!

 

At the intersection of stone, horizon, sky, and sunrise: The North Window Arch at Arches National Park
At the intersection of stone, horizon, sky, and sunrise: The North Window Arch at Arches National Park

What did I do differently? Well, in the original, the sky was getting a tonal shift. In this one, the sky is much smoother. The rest is finer detail work that increased the detail of the stones. I can honestly say it is an improvement! 

Sandstone Arch

The Sandstone Arch in Arches National Park is a really neat site. It is about three quarters of the way through the park on their main roadway. I highly recommend seeing it. It’s not along trail but it is a very unique one. The previous picture I released showed one of the ‘fins’ you have to walk between in order to get here.
DSC04440-Edit-20140630

As you can see, the colors of the sandstone is quite impressive. There are many variations of magenta, reds, oranges, and purples in these stone layers.

You have to walk past this cotton wood tree to get here, btw. But you still have to have water with you! When I got to this I knew I was already a bit dehydrated, but I also knew that it was a very short walk. If I knew the water spigot was not too far away, I think I would have stopped for that, first.

Why do I bring that up? I made a mistake in some of my shots here. I left my tripod in a scene. I wouldn’t have done that if I was thinking clearly. I would have been thinking clearly if I was hydrated.

Why did it take so long for me to post this? I’ve been learning a lot in The Arcanum. I put several new techniques into processing this. It’s funny, what I would have done two months ago would have been to just get it to where I’m ‘ok’ with it. But what did that feel like to me back then? It felt like I was turning in my homework incomplete but passable. Even now, I feel that there are a few small things I could do better, but I’m much more confident that these things that could have been done are minutia to most people.

I’m learning more and more every day. I only learn by doing. I’ve done a lot that I’m sitting on until after I’ve gone through a critique with my master/teacher in about a week.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks & more to come, swear.

Inside the Fins of Arches National Park

The geology is very interesting at Arches National Park. I highly recommend watching the video in the visitors center. I will try to summarize it in three sentences. The video was like 45 minutes long. So, don’t hold me to this!

Basically, there was a big salt dome that formed under ground that pushed all the ground above it up. The dome that formed cracked and created ‘fins’ and arches. Once the salt left, the dome collapsed and the fins came back together, leaving little slits that you can sometimes walk through.

What you see here is just one such fin that you have to walk through to see the “sandstone arch”. They are all made of sandstone, btw. But this one is actually called the sandstone arch. I think this has to do with the fact that there is a lot of loose sand here.

Walking inside a 'fin' on the way to see the 'Sandstone Arch'
Walking inside a ‘fin’ on the way to see the ‘Sandstone Arch’

 

With this photo, I took my rented 10-18 mm lens and took a bracket. But! I found out that I didn’t really need all of them. this was taken from a single raw file.

I hope my processing is coming around. I’m sorry I haven’t posted too much lately. I usually slow down my art when I’m learning more skills. Away from photography, I’ve also been working more overtime, too.

I am hopeful to get more up soon. Tomorrow, I will actually show you the Sandstone Arch, though!

Also posted to:

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plus.google.com/+adamdooley

One Way out

The Skylight of the Double Arch in Color

The Double Arch in Arches National Park attracts many visitors. Aside from it’s iconic status, I think that one of the biggest reasons for this is the double arches cast a nice shadow that is very cool when the sunlight is really hot!

Colorful Double Arch Skylight

I sat myself in the shadow, relieved, and looked up to take a shot. When I got it back into my computer, it was a lot easier to see the patterns that were showing in the rock layers. This color version was my best attempt to bring out those differences in color.

Monochrome Double Arch

Today is a black and white version of what normally people see in many shades of red. My eye isn’t as struck by those colors as it is by the patterns in the rock. So I converted this to black and white and really amped up the luminous difference in the colors that were there. I think I’ll post the color version tomorrow.

Monochrome Third window of the Double Arch

Arches National Park- North Window Sunrise

Sunrise through the North Window Arch

This was at Arches National Park on July 1, 2014. I was pretty thrilled to be there. This was the last day of my vacation that also took me to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park.

Side note: I would have visited this park last year if someone hadn’t thrown a lit cigar but with it’s wooden cigar ring at my car window  as I was entering the Grand Canyon National Park last year.  That cracked my windshield. I still saw the sunrise at the Grand Canyon, but after that I traveled as fast as I reasonably could to Grand Junction, CO to get the windshield replaced.

There is another arch that is part of this general formation called the South Window Arch. But this one was a little easier to set up at. It’s amazing how when the sun rises, so does the wind! The wind just funnels through these arches, picking up all sorts of sand and what not! It made changing lenses impossible. But it was also making life difficult for my tripod. It’s a heavy and sturdy tripod, too. I wish I had more time for this park, but maybe I’ll get to it again in the future?

North Window Arch in Arches National Park at sunrise on July 1, 2014.
North Window Arch in Arches National Park at sunrise on July 1, 2014.