Thursday, June 9, 2011

Horseshoe Bend {New Braunfels photographer}

Horseshoe Bend Arizona, landscape, fine art, New Braunfels photographer
In between the sandstorm of Monument Valley and the sub-freezing temperatures of camping out on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, there's one other stop we made that Lisa hasn't told you about: Horseshoe Bend, a spectacular omega-shaped turn of the Colorado River inside Glen Canyon. That's probably because she didn't get any photos there.

Why didn't she get any photos? Several reasons, the big one being that the rim of the overlook is a dramatic cliff with a thousand-foot drop, and the kids all wanted to play "Who can get closest to the edge before-- HEY! NO PUSHING!" Since Horseshoe Bend was always one of my main desires to shoot, she left the photography to me and rode herd on the young 'uns. The other reason she didn't get any photos, and I didn't get nearly as many as I'd hoped, is pictured above right. There were quite a few photographers there already, and they'd staked out the best unobstructed positions. Eventually, without hope of getting my turn at one of the prime overlooks, i got down on my belly and scooched to a precarious perch at the edge of an outcropping of rock. I'm not normally scared of heights, but this position was positively vertigo-inducing. I think my results were worth it, although I confess I hope to go back some day and try again under fewer time constraints (and with less competition!).

Horseshoe Bend Arizona, landscape, fine art, New Braunfels photographer

I also want to share one other image that I'm really quite proud of. During the infamous sandstorm most of the shooting was done by Lisa, since Monument Valley--even a hazy, dust-shrouded version--was one of her big goals to photograph. I contented myself with slipping out of the car here and there to attempt some infrared landscapes. I'd heard that infrared photography can cut through haze that would otherwise obscure visible light photography, but I can assure you that through on-site testing I've determined that airborn sand blocks infrared light pretty darn effectively. During our drive down in the park basin, though, the wind eased up momentarily and I was able to get this gem:

Monument Valley Arizona, Merrick Butte, West Mitten Butte, Sentinel Mesa, infrared, landscape, fine art, New Braunfels photographer

I wasn't sure I had captured anything special to begin with, but as I processed it in Photoshop my excitement grew. To the right is Merrick Butte, with the West Mitten Butte and Sentinel Mesa to the left. The gradient, lighting and billowing dust became more striking the more I tweaked the image. I think it's powerful and evocative. Moody. I'm one of the few photographers that can say he's gotten a good photo of Monument Valley during a sandstorm taken in infrared. Sometimes it's just better to be lucky than to be good. ;-)

Lisa On Location Photography

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