Spring In Western Oklahoma

May 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Spring is well and truly here. The thunderstorms are becoming more frequent, as well as intense! I really love this time of year because it's just so green. The wildflowers are blooming so prolifically that almost every direction you look, you see small patches or blankets of them. I love this time of year because all of the leaves are 'electric' green. I love this time of year because of the weather. Spring is a wonderful thing! Especially if you are a photographer.

Okay, I guess you have figured out that I love this time of the year. And of course, I have been out in it. We have had quite a bit of fog the last several mornings presenting opportunities to get busy. I love the atmospheric effect fog lends to an image that you cannot achieve at any other time. One of the great things about shooting in fog is that the light has been smoothed over so to speak. Everything seems to have an even illumination. However, if you expose for the fog alone other elements in the image will be too dark. I tend to expose for the middle tones to get an even exposure. And so without further ado, some results.

A Wet, Foggy Morning

This image was created with a Nikon D200 and Nikkor 18-70/3.5 @ 18mm, f13 @ 1/13th second @ ISO 100. In Lightroom, I adjusted the white balance for a slightly cooler look, increased the contrast and clarity, then added a touch of vibrance until the sandstone popped. A simple yet compelling composition 2 days ago under drizzly conditions.

Desert varnish and erosion on the East wall at Red Rock Canyon State Park, OK.Golden Light

Golden Light

This image was taken several days ago in the late afternoon. The Sun was just going down below the rim of the canyon, as seen from the floor when the wall lit up with this golden color. The bottom half of the scene was in shadow, thus we get this dichotomy of dark and light. Taken with a Nikkor 18-70/3.5 @ 70mm, f16 @ 1/30th sec @ ISO 100 with a Lee graduated 3 stop ND filter to even the exposure between the shadow and illuminated parts of the scene. I used f16 because I was looking at the wall at an angle of roughly 30 degrees, so the right hand side of the frame was farther away than the left. In Lightroom, I warmed the white balance a bit, increased the clarity and contrast and called it good. Because I wanted to retain the look of light/dark I had seen when creating the image, I used minimal post processing.

Fallen Stone I

This block of sandstone is located along the East wall in the canyon. It had rained the night before, so everything was damp and vibrant looking on this morning. Photography under these conditions really makes colors pop. Little, if any processing is needed to create stunning images where even the simplest object can take on new meaning. Nikkor 12-24 @ 17mm, f22 @ 0.6s @ ISO 100. In Lightroom, I added some clarity and contrast.

All three of these images can be found in the Red Rock Canyon gallery.

* If anyone ever has any questions about field technique or post-capture processing, don't hesitate to get in touch by either leaving a comment, contacting me by email, or by phone. I will be happy to discuss any aspect of landscape/nature photography.

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RED ROCK CANYON WORKSHOP 2013

Any of you photographers out there interested in a 'Red Rock Canyon Workshop' this coming Fall?  The workshop will be conducted sometime towards the end of October 2013. Our schedule will look something like this:

DAY ONE - We will meet the first morning around 5.00 am in the canyon for a morning shoot, then set up camp and prepare for the afternoon/evening shoot. We will then have a session to look at the work created that day.

DAY TWO - We will rise early for the next morning's shoot, then we will have a session to look at the work created that morning at a nearby venue where lunch will be served. Following the session, we will break camp and prepare for the afternoon/evening shoot.  Before we all head out to our final destinations, we will have a short session to have a look at the evening work.

Each participant will be required to bring their own camping gear and photography equipment. Bring your tripod! All meals are provided. The canyon has excellent facilities for showering.

More details will be provided once the dates have been set.

Prices for the workshop are set at $150.00 per person for the 2 days. This workshop will be limited to 6 participants. If you are interested, please get in touch at my email or give me a call at the info listed on the contact page.

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I have been playing around with Phase One 'Capture One Pro 7' RAW processing software the last few days. So far, I have found the interface to be a bit on the complicated side, but I am still working with it to figure it out. You can try it out for 60 days FREE by clicking on the link to Phase One. Will keep you posted on my progress.

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I am just about ready for the 'exhibit' at Red Rock Canyon State Park here in Hinton, Oklahoma. The frames have been loaded and we are down to some of the final details. Once again, I will be at their Visitor Center the evening of May 24 from 6.15pm to 8.00pm. I look forward to meeting and answering questions from everyone who stops by. Refreshments (non-alcoholic of course) will be served.

 

See you soon,

Thomas


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