St. Louis Canyon in Starved Rock State Park, IL is probably about as interesting as geology gets in northern Illinois. There are sand stone canyons here with little waterfalls that eventually feed into the Illinois River. In the winter, they freeze over, of course. This makes for a really interesting contrast of textures between the rock and the ice.
This is an impressive state park and I hope to return several times this year.
In this photo I did a lot of texture enhancement with photoshop and ON1 Perfect Effects 8. I also added a little bit of a glow with that program, too. When I took the photo, I tried to get as high and to the left as possible and I was hoping to capture the lines and details in the rock.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?