Art Fairs Retirement
I have one more art fair where I will be selling all that I can and then retiring from the art fair ciruit. In the mean time I'm offering a 25% discount to web customers. Enjoy!
Real Color II
The question “Is the color real?” in sunrise and sunset images led to a previous article pointing out how time of day can drastically alter the color of a landscape. The same question is asked of the blue rock found in Upper Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Reservation near Page Arizona, an area on the Colorado Plateau. The canyon is dimly lit so it is easy to miss. But a camera can expose the scene as in normal daylight and bring out subtle colors. Or does the camera create the blue?
A few years earlier, I was photographing in Zion Nation Park in Utah in the Kolob Canyon section on the west side and ran across this rock. The park ranger I talked to about the rock didn't say what caused the blue color but stated is came from a higher elevation in the park. Further searching on the internet unearthed (pun intended...) the abstract to the paper “Clay Minerals in the Morrison Formation on the Colorado Plateau” by W.D. Keller. In the abstract Keller attributes blue color in the Lone Tree and Blue Mesas north of Uravan, Colorado to illite. Blue has also been attributed to iron in a particular oxidation state.
Since both regions are part of the Colorado Plateau, it makes the Antelope Canyon image blue color more plausible. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
2013 Photographic Finale
I finished the 2013 photographic year in Death Valley, California and the Golden Spike National Historical Site in Utah where the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. The Golden Spike site holds an annual “steam demonstration” at the end of December where they bring out one of the two replica historical steam engines present at the 1869 rail joining ceremony. The steam and smoke show well in the cold, dry air. This year it was No, 119 and resulted in great photography!
I will use my 100-400 mm lens the next time I shoot this occasion as the image above had to be cropped a lot. The most steam is produced as the engine is accelerating toward the visitor center and the engine is still relatively far away. Also, when you shoot in snow, check your exposures to make sure the snow isn't fooling your camera's metering. Typically that can cause underexposure so you need to overexpose a scene with a lot of snow in the image (or spot meter what you want properly exposed).
A common perception of Death Valley is that it is very hot and drab. Well, not in late December! A short hike from the Artist's Pallet parking lot is certainly not drab. Nor is it hot – during this time of the year that is. Note that a polarizer filter can often help with color saturation by controlling glare.
You often do have to be careful with your camera equipment due to blowing sand on the sand dunes. The benefit of blowing sand is that it covers the footprints of dune hikers overnight. It is a popular part of the park and there can be a lot of footprints. Unfortunately there was not much wind during my stay, and foot prints limited the usable images . Death Valley is also a great place for astrophotography. The night sky is spectacular.
The nearby ghost town of Rhyolite has its “ghosts” to hold your interest and liven things up (pun intended...).