Monthly Archives

September 2012

Sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook, Utah

Canyonlands, Panoramas, Utah

Dead Horse Point Overlook, a stunning promontory on the edge of the mesa that is Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park, offers a jaw-dropping view down 2000′ to the Colorado River. Canyonlands National Park is visible in the distance. The entire scene is a jumble of convoluted bends in the Colorado River with canyons, walls of sandstone, endless sky and few people. I made this panorama from a series of 7 images about a half hour after sunset. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook, with the Colorado River flowing 2,000 feet below. 300 million years of erosion has carved the expansive canyons, cliffs and walls below and surrounding Deadhorse Point, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

Sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook, with the Colorado River flowing 2,000 feet below. 300 million years of erosion has carved the expansive canyons, cliffs and walls below and surrounding Deadhorse Point
Image ID: 27823
Location: Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah, USA

Milky Way Rising Over Joshua Trees

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, California, Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is the closest National Park to my home, so I visit it several times each year. It is a desert park, arid and sometimes quite hot, and given its proximity to Los Angeles it can be crowded on weekends which makes exploring Joshua Tree National Park at night an appealing option. Summer and fall evenings are usually quiet, still and warm, making night photography in shorts and sandals a piece of cake. I have taken thousands of photographs (many of them quite bad) of the bizarre and charming Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) forests that span the park. This image is one of my favorites, showing the trees reaching toward the Milky Way galaxy far above. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking, and cheers!

The Milky Way Galaxy shines in the night sky with a Joshua Tree silhouetted in the foreground, Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Milky Way Galaxy shines in the night sky with a Joshua Tree silhouetted in the foreground.
Image ID: 27805
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Tower of Babel and Starry Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Stars over the Tower of Babel, Arches National Park, Utah

The Tower of Babel is one of the most imposing and distinctive sandstone structures in Arches National Park. An enormous narrow freestanding wall or “fin” of Entrada sandstone, the Tower of Babel may, over the course of eons, erode into a arch. It is very near the main road through Arches National Park so few photographers who visit the park do not at least take a snapshot of this icon. I allocated a few hours one night trying to figure out how to photograph it against a sea of stars. It is such a tall and long expanse of sandstone that I was not even sure I wanted to try it, assuming there is no way I could effectively light paint the beast in the 30 seconds of exposure I was using. It took me some time but, after trying a number of different lighting angles and even resorting to mixing my own car’s headlights and those of another passing vehicle in some experimental images, I managed to produce this one image. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Stars over the Tower of Babel, starry night, Arches National Park, Utah

Stars over the Tower of Babel, starry night, Arches National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27847
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

See more dramatic and different photos of nighttime landscapes or of Arches National Park.

Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Landscape Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, is considered to be the longest natural arch in the world, having a span of 290 feet (89m) . Landscape Arch is gradually falling apart, with at least three sections of the arch known to have fallen since 1991. I set out to photograph this amazing arch under the star-filled Utah sky and it turned out to be one of the most technically challenging nightscapes (nighttime landscape photos) I have made. Because the trail that formerly went under the arch is now closed (National Park lawyers know what is good for us better than we do), viewing of the arch is from several hundred feet away. That is a long distance to light at night. Furthermore, in order to use side lighting as a way of illustrating detail in the rock, I had to use remotely controlled equipment since I was working alone. After two nights of experimentation, I managed to make four keeper images, of which this is my favorite. This image was shot with the technically excellent combination of Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon 14-24 lens so it is very sharp and clean while still freezing the glorious Milky Way galaxy (the galaxy in which we live) in the sky above the arch. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Landscape Arch and Milky Way galaxy.  Stars rise over Landscape arch at night, filling the Utah sky, while the arch is gently lit by a hiker's light, Arches National Park

Landscape Arch and Milky Way galaxy. Stars rise over Landscape arch at night, filling the Utah sky, while the arch is gently lit by a hiker’s light.
Image ID: 27869
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Also seen on my Landscape Astrophotography website: Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah.

Beautiful Sunrise over the Wedge and Newport Coast

California, Surf

During August I made a few trips up to the Wedge to test out a new surf photography housing. I like to be there early to give myself a chance to see what the ocean is doing between the sand and the jetty, and to warm up and wake up. One morning there was some cloud cover that lit up beautifully as soon as the sun cleared the hills to the east of Newport Beach. My camera was setup for very low light, high shutter speed photography, which means a high ISO (I think about 3200 or so). When I shot this image I figured the high ISO would kill off the colors — as my past cameras have done — but in truth the image has turned out to be one of my favorites of the year. Perhaps it is because I remember plenty of sunrises just like this, sitting on the same sand, 30-40 years ago when I grew up in Newport. I shot this with my camera inside its housing, not yet wet, with fins and wetsuit but totally dry. I hopped in the water a few seconds after this and photographed the sunrise from within the waves but this image is still my favorite of the morning.

Sunrise at the Wedge.  The Wedge, a notorious and famous shorebreak at the end of the Newport Peninsula, is seen here under a huge dawning sky and sporting a small but fun swell, Newport Beach, California

Sunrise at the Wedge. The Wedge, a notorious and famous shorebreak at the end of the Newport Peninsula, is seen here under a huge dawning sky and sporting a small but fun swell.
Image ID: 27991
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA