Soft pre-dawn light on the wall of a large mesa, Central Utah. [+]

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  • Selected on Jun 21, 2016
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Aug 08, 2017

I had read about this area in an old book, and I had seen images of this type of rock from a favorite artist of mine, Guy Tal. I also knew the area from a road trip I did several years prior, so I had been looking at maps for years and I was enamored with the geology. The formation was actually large enough that I was able to find and plan my composition on Google Earth.  I chose to use a telephoto lens to isolate the part of the mesa that made my planned symmetrical composition. I shot before sunrise at twilight to get soft light accentuating the features of the mesa, so I believe it was a 30-second exposure. I can't remember if I shot a panorama or if I simply cropped the full image to make the 2:1 ratio. For processing I opted for a very cool white balance to give the twilit rock a silvery look and homogenize the color. I allowed my favorite boulder in the scene to remain red so it would stand out. I made the shadows cooler blue and the highlights more silvery and luminous. I learned that my favorite images are often of the incredible geological patterns of the desert - no sky, just the earth and time.


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