When we were looking to do the White Rim Trail last Fall, I had trouble finding good information on the different campgrounds along the trail, or other useful information. So when we were doing the trail, I tried to take photos of the different campsites along the way, and Janine took that information and prepared what I think it an informative article that could be helpful to other photographers and visitors. You can find that article here: White Rim Trail
Well I must admit I am a reference material junkie! I have shelves and shelves of books – guide books to National Parks, birds and animals, plants and wildflowers, animal tracks, geology… The list goes on and on. Not only do I have a bunch of book here, but I also keep many more in our trailer, and we usually send a box back and forth depending where we are traveling. Unfortunately, they take up a ton of space and weight.
I also have to admit that I’m hooked on apps for my iTouch / iPhone – I have an iTouch. Maps, weather, depth of field calculators, even Northern Light predictions all on this tiny device, it is amazing!
So, when I heard that a couple of friends, Dan Baumbach and Bret Edge had created an Arches National Park Photography Guide iPhone application, well I thought that was ingenious! What a great idea – I could easily travel with all this information right in my shirt pocket! A perfect marriage of information and technology.
Dan recently provided me a copy to review, and I gotta admit I love the product! This application actually has a lot of advantages over a hard copy book because it is able to link to current information in real time such as weather forecasts, along with providing links to websites for local restaurants, hotels and campground – what a great resource!
The app is also packed with all kinds of useful information on Arches National Park, information useful to photographers such sunrise and sunset times along with an interactive map and information on backpacking, wildlife and wildflowers. But the real meat to the application is the information on the different photo locations within Arches. This information includes photos, maps, descriptions on how to get to the location, even the GPS coordinates.
It just so happens that I have spent a fair amount of time in Arches over the last two years, and have been to all the locations described in the app, and found the information accurate and concise.
The application cost $4.95 – much cheaper then most printed guides, and more valuable. They have many more iFotoGuides planned for the future.
As I was working on my favorite images from last year, Janine mentioned this was one of her favorites – she really liked the mood and feel of the photo, so I though I would make it today’s blog.
Take a look at more of our Canyonlands National Park photos.
When photographing directly into the sun, especially with zoom lenses, it seems like lens flare is almost impossible to avoid. I thought I would share a little trick that I have used for the last few years for eliminating flare.
I capture two images, one that includes the sun and flare, and one where I block the sun and eliminate the flare as you can see above. I then combine the two images using photomerge in Photoshop keeping most of the image on the right except for the portion of the image where you see my fingers. Here is the end result:
It is important that both images are of the same exposure – I make sure I’m working in manual mode because your camera’s meter is going to come up with two very different exposures for these two scenes. And of course a tripod so that the two images contain identical compositions is imperative.
I used to stand in front of my camera and block the sun with a lens cap. The lens cap made a perfectly round shadow that I could then position just barely over the front of the lens. When it comes to your eyes, I’m sure this is the safest way of doing it, but it does take more work in Photoshop. Lately, I have been looking through the camera with my hand out in front until it is positioned to block the sun – I wonder what passerby’s must be thinking as they see me doing this – is he really photographing his fingers in front of that pretty arch? 🙂
Over the last week or so we have been very busy converting and adjusting photos from our Fall trip, we hope to be done with this job sometime this week. I will likely share more photos from this trip over the next few days or weeks.
It has been a really nice winter in Alaska, and I have been very content to be working at home, cross-country skiing, and enjoying the winter pace. But, as I start the pour over photos from our recent travels, it re-ignites the urge to explore and photograph new regions, and revisit old favorites.
Check out more of our Arches National Park photos.
I fell a bit behind on my editing / captioning / key-wording on our last trip, so now I’m sitting here in Alaska, looking out the window at fresh falling snow, and looking at my monitor and seeing images of warm red rock – it is kind of fun really!
This was from our three day trip along the White Rim Trail from just over a month ago.
This is a quick and dirty blend of two jpeg images, one for the sunset sky, and one for the rest. Once I’m home, I’ll re-work this, probably using most, if not all five raw files, but this gets me at least 90% of the way to the final image.
I gotta say, this was one of the tougher hikes home in the dark. A half an inch of rain had obliterated most the footprints on this lightly traveled trail, and it seemed like the cairns were just out of headlight range – the lack of a moon didn’t help. But, being able to spend a wonderful evening at this beautiful arch, with out another person within miles made it completely worth it for us!
Check out more of our Arches National Park photos.