Lunchtime Photo

I’ve been on one of my little photo vacations for the past four days and it was pretty exhausting.¹ But it was also one of my best ever. As you know, my rule of thumb is to visit places so beautiful that you can basically just point your camera around and end up with lots of great pictures. This time I drove up Interstate 15 to Las Vegas, then cut across 59/389/89A to Page, Arizona. It was absolutely stunning, one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever taken. My main goal was to shoot pictures of the slot canyons near Page, but I also visited Hoover Dam, Horseshoe Bend (three times), Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, and all sorts of things in between. This was my first time seriously taking lots of panoramic shots that would have to be stitched together later in Photoshop, and also my first time seriously using the HDR function in my camera. More about that later, but both of these techniques turned out to be perfect for the slot canyons.

The bad news is that this means the photos need a lot of tedious processing before I can even get to the normal stage of editing them. However, I also took plenty of ordinary shots that required only a few minutes of preparation. This one is of Mitchell Butte at sunset, right near Monument Valley. It required no editing at all, though I think I did about 30 seconds of work on it just so I didn’t feel like I was being too lazy.

¹Why exhausting? Lots and lots of driving, for one, and working to a tight schedule for another. This kind of photography is all about the light, which meant I was constantly on the run to get to places when the light was right, mostly early and late in the day. Sadly, my body is not built for that sort of thing anymore.

January 27, 2020 — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

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