Category Archives: Escalante
Today’s post processing video is all about sharpening. In this video, I’ll show you how to use three of my favorite sharpening tools in Photoshop to sharpen regions of the image to direct the viewer’s eye. In this video, I also introduce Topaz Detail which I find can be quite helpful. In fact, I use several different Topaz plug-ins which you’ll see more of in future videos. You can check out their different software here.
Thanks again for checking out my videos and as always be sure to leave any questions you have in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of my previous video tutorials you can catch up on them here.
Here is the finished shot from Tioga Lake in Yosemite! Enjoy!
The first time I took the drive down Hole in the Rock Road in Escalante I felt quite bemused. I had seen many incredible images from this area, heard stories of it’s beauty and as I’m driving down this road this is the sight I see on my left. Oddly enough, my wife had the same sensation when I took her down the same road a couple months later.
The beauty of Escalante is in it’s mysterious. By exploring this area you can see some truly beautiful and unique sights that you won’t find anywhere else and I have to say that this is one my favorite places to explore. It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
So I’m a bit late posting about all of this, but there’s a whole lot going on in the photography world right now. Lightroom 4 has been released and let me tell you – the innovations are pretty awesome! If you haven’t downloaded purchased your copy or downloaded your trail yet, it’s time. And for all you Aperture users out there, it’s okay that you’re curious… It’s a natural thing. This is a great time to see what the grass is like on the other side.
The really big news of course is the latest DSLR releases. With the new Nikon D800 pushing the limits of image resolution to the new heights of 36 megapixels and the Canon 5D Mark III’s excellent performance in low light, both of these companies have made some great (if somewhat subtle) innovations which continue to push the limits of photography as we know it. Between all of this and with the crazy quality of the iPhone 4s camera and the introduction of the mirror-less camera system there is a lot of question about what the future will hold. All of this without even talking about the video aspects and possibilities of these new age cameras.
Personally, I am pretty excited about the Nikon D800. I love the performance and durability of my D700 but have been wishing for sometime for an increase of megapixels. Little did I know that Nikon would triple the resolution in the updated D800. From the initial test shots, I must admit that I hoped for a bigger leap forward in high ISO performance, but one stop step forward is better than no stop at all. Am I the only one who wishes that we could combine the performance of the D800 with the 5D III?
The Big Questions
My twofold question for you is simple – 1: What are you most excited about when it comes to the latest photography gear out there? 2: What would you like to see in the future?
Today’s image is from the Devil’s Playground in Escalante. This is a great area that you can spend a lot of time exploring and come away with a lot of different compositions. I took this shot just after the sun went over the horizon so there weren’t any hard shadows to deal with.
Today’s photo is from inside Spooky Canyon in Escalante, Utah. Spooky is a non technical canyon which means that it doesn’t require any ropes or any kind of difficult climbing, but I make sure to research as much as I can about a canyon before I set foot on the trail.
I had heard that Spooky was dark and extremely narrow but I think that description doesn’t begin to describe just how narrow it really is. The book “Winnie the Pooh and the tight squeeze” comes to mind here – it was so narrow in places that I had to turn sideways and pay a lot of attention to make sure my head didn’t hit the walls. Forget unfolding a tripod in this area, there’s no room! For this shot, I bumped up the ISO to 800 and shot a 5 brackets handheld. Fortunately, the tight spaces allowed me to brace myself against the walls and the shots came out well.
The reflected light in this canyon was really nice and set off some beautiful colors here. If you’re in Escalante and not afraid of tight spaces, I highly recommend checking this one out.
Ok, so this particular area in Escalante is actually called “The Devil’s Garden”, but it should really be referred to as the Photographer’s Playground. There are so many of these interesting formations in a pretty close area. Under the right lighting circumstances, you could take hours playing with the different compositions in this area. The only frustrating thing for me is that many people had visited this area since the last time it had snowed and had trampled the snow in many places ruining what would have otherwise been nice compositions.
A Word About Foresight
Whenever I’m photographing, I always pay very close attention to where I am walking and what I am disturbing. This is especially important when you’re photographing in snow, sand, or places where there are pools of water. It’s easy to ruin future compositions by not thinking of where your’re going to shoot from. At times like this, I find it’s best to decide how and where I want to shoot from and then approach from a place where my footprints cannot be seen.