My good bud Jeff Snyder at Adorama just emailed that they have 6 D3s in stock, refurb and killer prices. You want, act now!
While I was in the land of Kelby, I stopped by the studio and shot a short 25min video on the D3s. It’s a quickie getting you up, running and shooting stills and video with this great camera. Drop on by, there is the real possibility you’ll pick up a tip or two or three.
The D3s is a beautiful camera and there is no way once you heat that shutter slam 8fps you can’t fall for it. Does it produce a better file then the D3, that’s the question most ask. Yeah, it does but you probably won’t see that improvement if you don’t take your images above 11×14 in size. Where will you see an improvement? The one biggie I feel is improvement over the D3 that’s not been documented nor that’s been in the press. And that’s the AF, the D3s is all new and it works just sweet!
Since you can’t see through the viewfinder when in Live View which is required for filming with the D3s, the grid of the E Screen isn’t available nor is the Virtual Horizon. Nikon thought this through. So when in Live View and you depress the Info button, you have a number of options you can see on the Monitor and one of them just happens to Virtual Horizon as you see here. Now what if you want to see the subject at the same time? I think that’s a work in progress but you simply hit the Info button to turn it off.
The D3s high ISO is just simply amazing! Shooting at ISO 1600 to the outrageous 10,465,877 or whatever the hell the top end is produces results I simply didn’t believe. The images I posted last night taken of dark subjects in low light with -1.5 dialed in had NO noise that would bother you in a 24×30 print. That’s just damn impressive!
The big news about the D3s is its video capability. The D3s is not a video camera, it produces beautiful video clips because it can only shoot a 5min clip. Its 720p while numerically sounds not top notch, in connection with Nikon optics, the results are damn stunning. It’s a great start to a system you know will grow in time.
The D3s is my “2nd” body so typically is on a strap on my shoulder.
You will find my D3 settings here. While not 100% applicable to the D3s, they will more then get you in the ballpark. Better yet would be watching the video that I produced with Kelby Training on the D3s.
So you can now do video, what can you do with it? Keep in mind that at its highest res, 1280×720, the D3s can only capture a 5min video clip. So while it’s exciting for some to be able to do that, 5min does not make a movie. I’ve had a number of emails asking to see a sample of the D3s video at its highest res, so I went out to make a sample clip for you.
I shot in the 1280×720 space. I did attach the Rode external mic but being still a still photographer, forgot to turn it on so there is no sound (sound is very important to video). The final file out of the D3s is 268,820kb but putting it up to the web, the flash file is 34726kb so it’s been compressed. With that said, I think it’s pretty cool.
What I did to shoot it was pretty simple. The setup is D3s, 600VR w/TC-17e with the Live View set to Tripod (really your only option to use Contrast-Detection AF). All the focusing in the video is done by the camera using the AF-On button a couple of times to speed up AF acquisition. The camera is in Aperture Priority with -.5 exp comp dialed in. It really is pretty darn easy!
The cast of characters are Ruddy Turnstone, Laughing Gull, Willet & Marbled Godwit.
A full user report on the D3s & 70-200VR will be in the upcoming BT Journal. I also just filmed a 30 Quick Start video with the folks at Kelby Training. That should be up shortly. If not soon enough for you, bug them to get it up
Photo captured by D3s, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film
Yeap, that’s right and not really that unexpected, I have the D3s and 70-200VR II and man, I wish I didn’t. I mean X-mas is just a month away and I’ve gone and spent all my gift money, now what do I do?
I will post more over the next week about the D3s and 70-200VR II as well as have a full review in the upcoming BT Journal but wanted to give you some early impressions. The D3s high ISO is just simply amazing! Shooting at ISO 1600 to the outrageous 10,465,877 or whatever the hell the top end is produces results I simply didn’t believe. The images I posted last night taken of dark subjects in low light with -1.5 dialed in had NO noise that would bother you in a 24×30 print. That’s just damn impressive!
Now the 70-200VR II, now we’re talking a wicked sharp lens! Yeah, it’s going to give the 200VR a freakin run for its money. It has been designed that with the Vignetting set to Normal in the camera to produce NO vignetting and after photographing a bunch of white walsl with and without flash at every f/stop, I can say it delivers.
Over the weekend I’ll post some images from serious shooting tomorrow so you can see for yourself.
And the video, video in a DSLR just doesn’t excite me. With that said, I have thought of a way that might make it interesting in creating new educational content which I’ll be working on at the end of the month. mk
Yeap, the D3s has been announced. Cutting to the chase, it has higher, better ISO performance and 1280×720 HD Motion-Jpeg video. Using a new CCD that includes vibration cleaning, the new D3s still retains the same pixel count as the D3. I’ve received plenty of email already asking my thoughts on video in the DSLR. To me, it makes no sense and diverts engineers from giving us really cool things that still photographers could really run with. You can read more right here. Here is the micro site.
Here are the main features:
- ISO performance: ISO 12800 as standard, expandable to ISO equivalent of 102400 (Hi 3)
- Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.1 effective megapixels
- Improved D-Movie function including High-Sensitivity Movie mode and flicker reduction function
- Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System including Image Sensor Cleaning function
- Incorporates Nikon’s original EXPEED digital image processing
- Active D-Lighting with bracketing for up to 5 frames
- Picture Control: Standard, Vivid, Neutral and Monochrome (Landscape and Portrait can be downloaded from Nikon website)
- Quick response with approx. 0.12 seconds start-up time and approx. 0.04 seconds shutter-release time lag
- 9-frames-per-second shooting rate in FX format, 11 fps in DX crop (CIPA Guidelines)
- Nikon’s original Scene Recognition System, utilizing 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, for more accurate autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance
- Multi-CAM 3500FX AF sensor module featuring 51 AF points
- Viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.7x magnification in FX format
- Durable shutter unit proven by 300,000 cycles of testing on fully assembled camera
- Intelligent power management that lets you shoot up to approx. 4,200 frames per charge (based on CIPA Standards)
- Easy-to-access Live View modes with dedicated button
- Quiet Shutter-release mode for nonintrusive shooting
- High-definition (approx. 921k-dot), 170˚ viewing angle, 3-in. VGA LCD monitor with tempered glass
New 85f3.5VR AFS Micro also introduced.
- Medium-telephoto 85mm Micro lens (picture angle is equivalent to a focal length of 127.5mm in FX/35mm format)
- Closest focusing distance of 0.286 m/0.9 ft. (1:1 life size)
- The optical system featuring an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element is optimized for DX-format digital SLRs
- Vibration Reduction (VR II) enables sharper pictures while shooting at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would otherwise be possible
- Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures fast, quiet AF operation
- Two focus modes available — M/A and M
- IF (Internal Focusing) enables focusing without changing the length of lens barrel
- The nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening gives out-of-focus elements a more natural appearance
You might be saying I don’t seem that excited about this new D3s (street price $5200?). Video in the camera just doesn’t solve any problems I have, neither does high ISO, 1.2 crop or new buttons on the back. The D3 / D3x already in my bag rock and since I’ve not seen nor shot with the D3s, just going by specs, I’m not wowed by the news. Now the 85micro, that does have my attention. I WANT new glass and not video! I do hope though that now the rumor mungors who have been so far off the mark will have even less credibility and I’ll have to spend less time saying I have no comment.
Jake and I had been up on the Arctic Plain for a four days chasing the never before photographed Alaskan Marmot. As part of that project were getting photos by us of Hoary Marmots, a population not habituated. For example, you can basically pet the Hoary Marmots in Denali at Savage Rock as well as many other locations. The Hoary Marmot range is south of the Yukon River, the Alaska Marmot is north of the Yukon River but really now is just north side of the Brooks Range. Well, the biologists knew about this one Hoary Marmot colony not too far north of Fairbanks but way in the hell up a mountain and away from anybody. So Jake and I made the trek to spend time with them. The plan was to spend a couple of days at the colony.
The key phrase with this entire project is, “that was the plan.” Mother Nature has a mind of her own and when you combine that with politics and money, well nough said. Eating blueberries we picked as we climbed, we reached the rock out crop that is the home for the colony. We were guided by the two biologists who, once we were in place went back down the hill and left us to our photography. Now marmots have really only a couple of predators, the most common being Golden Eagles (since we don’t fly, we don’t look like them) and bears (which we could be mistaken for). So like normal, for the first few hours, the good light time, we saw only the occasional eye staring at us from a rock crevice. By late afternoon, a good 6-7 hours into our shoot, they started to go about their daily routine within site of our lenses. What you’ll see in the video is the fun unfold. Many have heard me joke about flying dust spots. That reference normally pertains to gulls flying about. In this video though, flying dust spots take on a whole new meaning! Those aren’t dust spots…them are flies!
All the still shooting was done with the D3x. For video I swapped out the D3x for the D3s with both stills and video being shot with 600VR2 with TC-14e mounted on a Wimberley / Gitzo, carrying the entire rig over my shoulder through the forest and up and down that mountain. That’s because if we came across something like a Wolverine (which were in the area), I didn’t want to miss a shot taking time to set up. That’s my general MO. I did the editing on the iMac with all the vid residing on the ioSafe N2 and doing the editing right in Premiere Pro CS7. With the way the day turned out, we didn’t make the trek back up the next day. While it was a really, really, slow start, the end of the day was great! One of the Hoary Marmots ended up coming right up to me so with that, Jake & I knocked out the rest of the photos we needed for the project. And those flies you see in the video, lucky for us they only plagued the marmots, they left us alone.
For years and years, I’ve gone to Yellowstone in the heart of winter looking for one opportunity. I’ve gotten up and entered the park long before sun up in search of that opportunity. And only once have I been rewarded for that persistence. That’s the very nature of wildlife photography. But that one time is one I wouldn’t trade for all the camera gear at B&H! On a dark and snowy day, we came across a fresh elk kill, the carcass hadn’t even been broken open. Over the next ten hours, we witness the carcass nearly disappear and countless coyotes and wolves come and feast. What you’ll see in the video is just one of the coyotes, the one that seemed to have the greatest nerve to deal with pressure that comes eating at a carcass in winter, especially one brought down by wolves. You can tell it’s the same coyote because of the “Z” scare on its nose.
What made this kill really amazing was its location. We could pull the snow coach off the road at an official turnout and be legally far enough away from the kill permitting us to park and stay. If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone, you know that set up is rarer than seeing a Great Gray Owl! So, sitting in the van with just the tripod legs outside, I was able to shoot out of the wind (it was -12). Shooting with a D3s, 600VR2 with TC-14e mounted on a Wimberley / Gitzo, I would shoot stills and video. Shooting in AWB A6 before the sun somewhat brighten the skies (also shot ISO3200 then) was a good idea (but you’ve gotta remember to dial it out once the light appears) The video quality and technique leave a little to be desired but it still brings back a rush of the find to me. This is an edited down from the 4hrs of video to just 4min. I did the editing on the iMac with all the vid residing on the ioSafe N2 and doing the editing right in Premiere Pro CS7. What I wanted to convey in the video can be seen in the first frames and the last frames when you look at the elk carcass. It was amazing that 24hrs later,there wasn’t a single shred of evidence, not even blood on the snow, that any of this had ever taken place. Mother Nature is just amazing!
“Pretty Amazing”…that’s what Torey, the biologist I’m working with said when I played back the video of the San Joaquin Kit Fox den we worked last night. “It’s better there then what I’m seeing in person!” That’s what Torey said watching the activity I had shot. In 2hrs, I shot 10GB of 1080/30 vid using just 29% of my battery power and all my skills to pan capturing the activities of 4, 7 week old SJKF pups. You’ll see in the video the pups outside their den in Bakersfield, CA. I shot this using a Rode mic (almost no sound, none to record), GP-1 attached to the D4 and the default D4 movie settings. Now the Auto ISO for the video made me scratch my head when I saw that feature but now that I’ve seen it in action, I think it’s genious. During my time shooting, I saw the ISO change from as low as 1800 to 12800 while the exposure levels stayed consistent. The WB was set to AWB with the light source being this funky combo of parkway, bldg light stuff with a welder in the background working. Focusing was all done manually. What’s here is a 200MB clip, raw and unedited straight from the camera which, getting it uploaded from the field was a feat onto itself. Of course, the stars are one of my favorites, the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox pups. Those how saw my video of them at Photoshop World might notice a HUGE difference in the quality. Compared to the D3s which is what I used last season, sucks compared to the D4! Be sure to click on HD when you watch it! I hope you enjoy!
I’ve had a whole bunch of emails asking just that, where’s the D4 “review?” I guess shooting with it for less then a week, “you should be able to write a review, right, others have.” Well first, I’ve not written a review for a long, long time. I have written field reports but to me, there is a huge difference. To me, a review is no more then reading the specs and writing a review based on those. Not really very helpful to anyone wanting to get the most from their D4. The field report on the other hand is no more then my findings shooting with just one camera body sample. But those with a D4 can test their body’s results against mine and make some conclusions. And shooting with a new body for less then one week is by no means a field report worth writing.
I’ve seen some “reviews” and here’s my first problem with them. We’ve been using a 1008 pixel based RGB system up until the D4. Now we are using a 91,000 pixel 3D RGB sensor. I might just be me, but that’s a feakin HUGE change! Besides being a bigger number, what does that mean to our photography? Well, I’m still trying to determine that but here is what I’ve found so far. The D4 does have a greater dynamic range then the D3. How much, I don’t have a number yet. How does that effect my photography (since I can only speak about my own shooting)? Well, in scenarios like the photos posted here, the clouds detail was not lost, there were no blinkies even though I was shooting at zero exp comp. Why is that any kind of a big deal? With the D3x, I would have dialed in minus comp to retain the detail in the clouds. Further more, so far, and this is just my gut feeling right now, the D4 when it has a greater dynamic range requires plus compensation to be dialed in. When the exposure range is back down to like four stops, I dial in minus like the “old” days. Now I have conferred with some other D4 owners and they have found the same thing but this does not make it carved in stone. But if this proves out to be true, it means we have a revolutionary tool in our hands that will require a little change in exposure thinking to take advantage of it.
Now I’ve had a number of folks moaning to me about the XQD card option in the D4 not really being an option as if I designed it. While I don’t understand why it’s there rather then a CF slot, so far I’ve enjoyed its speed. When you can shoot 74 Nefs in one burst and then suck those into the computer at radically fast speeds, I’m surely not going to complain. Is it the best option? Well, I don’t see as we really have a choice and since it works, I’m not complaining. Then there are the complaints about the battery. There again, my D4 and those I’ve shot with have had no issues or complaints. It just works and not left me in the lurch.
The biggest request though is for my settings. I just got another one figured out today to my liking so I hope to have them posted soon. Like they say, all good things come with time. Another common question is if the D4 is worth the money? I can answer that with a big, fat YES! Printed my first 24×30 prints and the results are gorgeous and comparing the D4 print to that of the D3s, the D4 was cleaner which to me is very important. Now if you don’t have the money for the D4, what do I suggest? I would pick up a used D3s and if you don’t have the money for that, a D3. But when it comes to choosing between a D4 or D3s, D4 wins for me already in my first week of shooting with it. There will be more to come, but my gut suggests it will only be more good news….
After a great day of walking the Smithsonian, Sharon decided we needed to walk another 3 miles so we went to check out the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin. Well, the whole world knows how I feel about flower photography so I was over joyed to go. I decided to just click to see if I could make some patterns in the branches and as predicted by me, I couldn’t. But what I found interesting are the results. Shooting with 0 exp comp, my intuition was I would have blinkies in some blossoms and loose some shadow details. But when I looked at the LCD on the D4, I saw no blinkies. When I look at the images in PS (I’m processing my D4 images with ACR), didn’t loose the shadow detail. Now I am not, repeat not, saying the D4 has better dynamic range. I’m just clicking away and responding to things like I would the last three years shooting with the D3. I’m not doing any testing shooting a D3s against the D4, I’m just cruising, having fun and getting to know the camera and so far, I’m likin what I’m seeing! At least in the D4, these possey photos are, well, just possey photos.
Before nearly every Photoshop World (which starts tomorrow, today are Precons), my bud Russell Brown and us take on some adventure. This time, Russell suggested we take advantage of his friendship with the two official photogs at Smithsonian NHNS. Well, I was all over that so today we basically spent the whole days cruising the collections. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Dr. Dove had pulled out some great bird skins for us to examine. Those collected by John James Audubon and Teddy Roosevelt to examples of the extinct Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and Ivory-billed Woodpecker. If they had taken away my D4 and walked away with it, I’d still be there!
We walked and walked and walked going from the collections to the exhibits and back to the collections. Absolutely the most amazing tour! This was also my first shoot with the D4. I have my initial settings in the camera and just shot normally just to get a feel for the camera and its default nature. I was impressed with the AWB working in all the mixed indoor lighting. What you see here is what the camera delivered, I didn’t clean up colors in any way. The top photo is ISO 1600 and next, ISO 100, the results are what you expect, really quite fine!
We went a lot of places the public doesn’t have access to. One of those was near the top of the dome and man, what a view! I did some HDR here and tried to process them in Photomatix Pro but it’s not liking D4 nefs. The D4 has a HDR setting but it only works when shooting Jpegs only, I was shooting NEFs.
The metering in the D4 I’m finding so far is slightly better then the D3, at least when coming to my style of photography. I’m not having to dial in minus exp comp like I did with the D3. The AWB like I mentioned is nailing stuff which is cool. The LCD has a manual and Auto LCD brightness control, I’m not so sure about the Auto yet. The Sensor clean more doesn’t do dittilly but didn’t expect it to. I have dust with it turned on. And while I’ve not printed any files yet, the file quality is at least as good as D3s and at ISO 1600, a tad better. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for is the change in the shutter noise. The D4 sounds totally different and it could just be me, but seems to be a little quieter. I have a ton more shooting and field work to do with it, but so far I can honestly say I’m seeing better results that I didn’t expect. Oh, and I shot 767 Nefs using just 23% of the battery. That’s a good thing! And I’m lovin seeing r50 in the viewfinder when i depress the shutter release! You can see a little of our day from the photos Jim took, check them out here. I wanna thank Don & Jim and all the curators who gave so generously of their time and knowledge today. One helluva experience!
I have a very well earned reputation for getting up early to greet the sun, be it critters, landscapes or aircraft. In FL there is always the possibility of ground fog along with the great light so I just can’t pass it up. So last weekend when at Stallion 51, we were there on the tarmac to greet the sun. One of the coolest things is to see the morning color reflecting off the polished planes, I just LOVE that! The problem is, how do you show that in a photograph? You can see the progression of light in the three photos with the one I really love being the last. That’s when the clouds came in briefly with the morning color. All of these photos have one thing in common, well two things. The P-51D and they are all 5 image HDR. Why HDR? To capture ALL the nuisances in the fuselage, I have found that HDR just does the best job. Looking in the bottom image, just look how that baby glows…I love it!The processing is pretty simple, Photomatrix Pro then into Photoshop and hit levels. I love great light, I love simple.
Now hopefully, you’re asking yourself why, when the exposure levels this early in the day are really not that wide, does Moose feel HDR is the way to go. True, the light levels really aren’t that big and a single click would do a good job, especially if you used a split grad filter to pull down the sky. I do it for one particular reason and that’s for under the wings. I’ve have found that when there is a shadow or under the wings are dark as they would be without HDR, the overall “aluminum” feel is not as strong. They spend a lot of money to have that polished look to these aircraft and I want that to come out. It is of course a personal thing and you might not feel like or want that feel to your aircraft and that is perfectly fine. I do though which is why I use the method and techniques I do.
There’s just something about an airport before the sun rises. It’s calm, quiet, cool and the runway lights take your imagination to the horizon. We’ve been the guests of Stallion 51 for the last few days for a little business, a lot of pleasure and for our Air2Air Workshop. One of the cool things we get to do at Air2Air is play with the planes. We start early in the morning, before the sun is a hint on the horizon unstacking aircraft and pulling those out we want to photograph. This is the iconic “Crazy Horse,” the pride and joy of Lee Lauderback.
I started shooting at the very first clue of color in the east. The exposure time was 15sec. “Crazy Horse” wasn’t moving but Dave, who was busy positioning the Twins was and I counted on that when I went click. It’s that movement that made me want to click. It gives life to the scene, movement to a still image. Just 10min later and the whole scene changes as the sun rises.
Then at sunrise, the Twins (“Crazy Horse” & “Crazy Horse2″) are parked to have their portraits taken. The first two photos, I shot down low to incorporate the ground fog. The last image I went to a second story balcony to element sky. The folks at Stallion 51 are simply amazing, providing not only their aircraft and logistical support, but permitting us to basically have our way as we shoot to our hearts content. Of course, knowing we’d be flying air to air with them ina few hours does provide a bit of electricity to the atmosphere and a purpose to the statics.
Hey, I admit it, I have to sneak up on portraits. I guess if I had a day or a week to think about it, I could set up the scenario for the scene and make a good or great portrait on the fly. But when I have 5min to place and shoot, I feel totally useless lacking any real skill. I had three things going for me that saved the moment. The background just don’t suck, the B-25 “Maid in the Shade” is a one of a kind background. Two, I’ve got a great model dressed as a WWII bomber pilot. A tad old but otherwise perfectly dressed and more then willing to pose. Finally, I’ve got sweet light for the whole thing, no flash or fill used. I shot wide open, f/2.8 and long, 200mm to control the background. Being a member of the famous and amazing AZ Ground Crew, I know I’ll have another opportunity, but great light never comes around twice. This is a skill I’ve gotta improve dang it! I know I’ll have more opportunities like this and I want to make the most of them. Sometimes knowing there is more photography I’ve gotta master drives me nuts!
Albert loves to have his photograph taken. He’s been in countless Hollywood movies and lord knows how many times he’s posed for tourists and yet, he never tires from it. So when K&M Adventures group first meet up with him at his home at Ford’s Point, he instantly asked if the group wanted to take his portrait on his bud, Pistol. While the view is gorgeous, Albert & Pistol get lost in the scene. Now when you look at it mathematically, the duo take up less then 1% of the entire frame. With that small percentage, can we still make them standout?
By moving physically to my left and then down a little, I put the duo in a place were they don’t meld into the background as much. Albert & Pistol are still small in the frame, but at least now they don’t look like an accident. It’s a very simple thing to do but I see many photographs where this simple technique isn’t being used. I just got Tiffen’s Dfx pluggins for Photoshop so decided to give them a whirl in finishing. I used one of their polarizers on these images. I like the effect, I might have gone a little heavy handed but I do like the effect. More to learn…I’m happy!
And here’s Albert & Pistol up close. Neither one are spring chickens but they still are both full of life. I enjoy all the time we get to spend together talking, much to learn from this soul of the earth!
When you drive the loop in Monument Valley, half the time your subjects are front lit and the other half, they are back lit. Because your subjects are so large, if you’re on the backlit side, you have a whole lot of time with no direct sun to work with. Because your subjects are so large, you’re missing some large photographs. The rock of Monument Valley isn’t all red. It’s every shade of red with a whole lot of veins of gray and black sprinkled in. When you shoot the face in full sun, you loose a lot of those veins and to me, a lot of the character that is the Valley. So I do tend to haunt the shadow side thinking about bringing out the character that is the Valley.
Here’s two approaches I use when going to the shadowy side. They both have one thing in common, HDR. To pull out the character in the rock, I need that range of clicks while also preserving the detail in the sky. After that, I want something in the sky and this is typical, I’ll put either clouds or the sun. I want that element for both the white aspect of a B&W photo as well as space and visual depth. The sun can add drama when done correctly. I posted this photo of an example of it not being done correctly. What’s wrong with it? I forgot to clean the front element. That dust on the front element is what’s creating all those circular UFOs in the sunburst. What a pisser! Understand that if I didn’t use HDR, you wouldn’t see any information in the rock, it would be all black. While there are times when that is cool, when working the shadowy side of the Valley, I tend to want to bring out the character in the rock.
I do enjoy greeting the day watching the sun rise. There is just something about that moment that all seems right in the world as the light comes up, the birds begin to sing and the clouds race to meet the coming sun. Last week in Monument Valley on our K&M Adventure, it was one of those mornings. We were out early heading around the loop to be in place in case the balloons launched (which they didn’t this morning). When I looked out of my room at the View, what you see in the top photo was what got me excited except the cloud had already changed alot by the time we got in place to shoot. I love clouds, they simply add a whole new dimension to anything subject. Kevin did his best to get us down in place but the same winds that kept the balloons from launching just scattered that beautiful cloud.
A classic case of chasing the light in the Valley. Just because there is pretty color in the sky, I don’t stop to shoot. The romance everyone associates with a sunrise or sunset if the very minimum that needs to be in our photographs. So with the color has to be the foreground, middleground and background and a lot more. You need shapes in silhouette as well and then finally, you need them clouds to take you eye and heart around the entire photograph. At least, that’s what I shoot for. So in the top photo for example, it’s no mistake that the break in the cloud rims the left side of Merritt Mesa.
These three photos were taken over a period of about 18min and over a distance of about 150 yards. The first photo we were at the bottom of a wash and as the clouds scattered and the sun rose, I didn’t like the foreground so I ran up slope to make the middle image and then to the top of the ridge to make the bottom photo. I like all three, each has a little something different but of these three, the top is my favorite. John Wayne rode over that dirt road and on the morning chasing the light in the Valley, I could imagine him doing it again.