Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. I am currently sorting through about 3000 exposures from my last trip. I have been shooting differently on my last few outings which includes more bracketing of shots for manual blending in Photoshop. I am after more dynamic range in the light and though the Photoshop work takes more effort I think the results are much better.
Today’s image was made from Maricopa Overlook on the Hermits Rest Road. During the winter months the Canyon stops the buses and visitors are able to drive on the Hermits Rest Road which makes access to some of the more dramatic overlooks easy. On this morning there was a fairly heavy cloud cover and I was not to hopeful for a sunrise shot. It was also quite cold at 16 degrees. Still recovering from pneumonia I was not to eager to leave the warm car or my cup of hot tea. But a cold fog had descended on this side of the Canyon and some of the trees were painted with a coat of light hoar frost. No matter how I played with the compositions I just “wasn’t feeling it”. I found this gnarly tree on the walk back to the car just as a bit of soft sunlight began to break through the cloud bank. The yellow glow as very nice and gave a nice halo around the top of tree. So I began to work with this composition placing the top of the tree against this light. In post processing I used several Selective Color Layers to target the Reds, Yellows, Blues, and Whites and followed up with a Dodge and Burn Layer to sculpt the form of the tree. The amazing contortions in the tree truck are testimony to the harsh environment along the South Rim. Beaten by wind, snow, and cold temperatures in the winter this tree is an amazing survivor. In a funny way the tree became a metaphor for how I felt-not feeling well, but surviving.
Technical Details: This image is a blend of three exposures using Enfuse for Lightroom. It was composed for three exposure, one for mid-tones, one for highlights, and one for shadows. The resulting file is sent to Photoshop for final finishing. I like Enfuse as it prepares a very natural looking file without the artifacts that can come from HDR Software. You can get the plugin from The Photographers Toolbox.
Thanks for stopping by today.