Zion East Entrance
by: © Ned Darkow (3y expr.)
Hi Ned! What I like most about this photograph is that is it not the same old, classic, iconic shot we tend to see from Zion (e.g. the Watchman). I really enjoy and appreciate you showing us what caught your eye while in Zion. You've made an effective photograph using your own perspective. Overall, you're off to a great start - just a few minor tweaks to the composition and lighting and you'll be well on your way to a striking image. Nice work from Zion!
In your description, you mentioned "I was just trying to capture the cliffs in Zion with a little landscape in the foreground." I think you've done just that! You've effectively filled the frame with only this subject matter. There are no elements within the frame that distract away from the primary center of interest.
Great job preserving asymmetrical balance - which unites the different elements in harmony - within the frame by placing the horizon towards the top thirds of the frame. The cliffs and trees are also helping to create good overall balance since they are positioned at the intersection points of the Rule of Thirds "tic-tac-toe" grid. I enjoy the rocks in the foreground as a leading line, but would like to see more of them so it draws the viewers into the frame more quickly and more strongly. If you were already using your lens at 10mm, taking a couple step backs and tilting the camera down will help include more of the rocks to lead the viewer in. That said, we get a nice sense of depth as a result of you thoughtfully including multiple layers within the frame.
Use of camera,
You balanced your exposure well between a smaller aperture for the depth of field and a fast enough shutter speed to prevent the camera from shaking during the hand-held exposure. Overall, though, the image appears underexposed about a half to two-thirds stop of light. You can certainly lighten in Photoshop elements. In the field, though, check your histogram after each shot. If you see the graph is bunched to the left, use the Exposure Value (EV) compensation in Program, Aperture Priority or Shutter Speed Priority modes to add light (without adding so much light that you get the blinkies/highlights).
Although we do see some shadows in the cliffs, in the middle ground, and in the rocks in the foreground, the light is a bit flat (there are no shadows in the cliff on the left) and a bit harsher then we like to see in a landscape photograph. A sun even lower to the horizon would have produced softer, longer shadows and shape as well as richer, warmer colors for this scene. Since you have a great composition here, you can load this location into a tool like The Photographer's Ephemeris (www.photoemphemeris.com) and determine when the light will provide side or back lighting - the two types of shaping light (front and top light are flat and shapeless) - for your scene.
Everything from near to far looks in focus, so your focus placement on the hyperfocal distance (the distance at which everything from half that distance to infinity appears sharp) is spot on.
I was just trying to capture the cliffs in Zion with a little landscape in the foreground. I was fortunate to be driving into the part shortly after the park opened and see all >
I was just trying to capture the cliffs in Zion with a little landscape in the foreground. I was fortunate to be driving into the part shortly after the park opened and the sun was low and behind me.
Lens: 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5
Exposure time: 1/250 sec ,Auto ,Auto
Focal length: 16.0 mm
White balance: Auto
Exposure program: Not Defined
Metering mode: Multi-segment
Date and time: 24 Jul 2013 13:48
Flash: Off, Did not fire ,Did Not Fire ,Did Not Fire
Original size: 4928px X 3264px
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0
Reviewed by GuruShots Pro
How to improve your photo
Make sure to include enough of the foreground objects to help pull the viewers eye into the frame. If your angle of view isn't wide enough, take a couple steps backwards to include a strong line of objects from either the right or left corners of the frame.
Pay attention to your histogram after each shot. Use the Exposure Value (EV) compensation function in Program, Aperture Priority or Shutter Speed Priority modes to add or subtract light as needed to record the best exposure in the field.
When you identify a great composition such as this, consult The Photographer's Ephemeris (www.photoemphemeris.com) to define the ideal time of day to photograph ideal and shaping side and back light.
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As a full-time freelance outdoor photographer and writer, my work has been published in National Geographic calendars, Arizona Highways, Outdoor Photographer, AAA Highroads, AAA VIA, Outdoor Photographer, Smith-Southwestern calendars, and a broad variety of other publications. I've written and...
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