Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's Morning in Canyonlands National Park

Steve Kossack recalls a recent sunrise shoot at Mesa Arch as "the climax of a spectacular display of nature in its best and most challenging light."

I had worked for almost an hour with the gradually emerging light, using and switching various filters to solve one challenge after another. We had haze, glare, subtle sidelight and then direct crosslight as the canyon below first showed shape, then form and finally detail. The cool glow of pre-dawn that I started with was enhanced by the Singh-Ray LB Color Intensifier. Soon the clouds diffused the rising sun which called first for the Singh-Ray Reverse ND grad and then the normal 3-stop ND grad.

As the sun continued to rise, I needed to cut the glare to make the vast expanse more visible and also to add warm light to the shadows, now a cold blue, due to reflected light from the sky. A situation that was perfect for the Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer.

Finally, in the image featured here, I needed it all. The direct crosslight now made the arch above glow intensely so I chose a 4-stop Hard Step ND Grad. To enhance the delicate display of color I chose the Color Intensifier once again but I also needed the Warming Polarizer. That's when I went with the LB ColorCombo -- it provides both polarization and intensification in one filter, and brought together all the effects needed to make this image.

You can watch Steve make this shot, along with many others that Steve features on his new DVD,Canyonlands/Arches, available now.

Image made with Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 70-200 2.8L IS, Singh-Ray 4-stop Hard Step ND Grad, and Singh-Ray ColorCombo.