I do like to mix things up a bit here on the blog and in my photography in general by trying out different things. A little lensbaby play, a few city scenes, maybe some close-ups of shells — but I can’t help but notice that the landscape shots get all the attention. When I put up other stuff I can hear the crickets. But that’s ok, I have to stretch my wings, and now it’s time to get back to what I’m best at.
We arrived at Big Bend National Park in Texas so there’ll be no shortage of landscape shots in the coming weeks. It’s a big park and I like to spend some time camping in close to things to make it a bit more convenient for sunrise and sunset, so we arranged to spend one week right in Rio Grande Village. It is usually a bit more expensive to camp right in the park (for an RV site with hookups) but it is worth it since we would spend the difference on fuel anyway.
On the first night we were treated to a stunning sunset – the best one we saw during our two weeks in the park.
Please click the image to view a larger version.
The exposure range was huge with the deep shadows in the foreground. I used my 3 stop graduated neutral density filter, but it still wasn’t quite enough so I bracketed some shots and combined them in post-processing. Does anyone else do that? I mean people usually do either a grad ND or HDR, but I often find myself doing both. I’m curious whether most people choose one technique or the other, or if some people leave the filter on and still combine exposures. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Edie Howe says
I wish I could have met up with you when I passed through New Mexico last week this time. It’s a spectacular area, isn’t it? At first sight it looks desolate, but once you’re out in it, you see all sorts of life.
I assume you’ll be staying in the southern part of the state. But I do highly recommend taking a detour up to Santa Fe–a gorgeous city.
Hope you and your family are happy and healthy, Anne. Continued good luck on your journey!
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Edie, I would have loved to meet up with you! One day I’m sure our paths will cross. We are on our way to Santa Fe now. We will probably only stay for a day or two and then we’re going to Sedona in Arizona and will spend some quality time there.
Thank you for your nice note. I hope your projects are going well too.
Michael Henasey says
Anne, sometimes I do both just out of curiosity but most of the time when I edit those photos and manually try to blend them, they don’t look quite right and I end up sticking with a single image that used filters. On occasion I do blend. I guess its good to keep your options open but as we are creatures of habit, I usually don’t do much blending as I’m in the habit of using filters predominantly.
Question for you is, why do you feel your original image(s) with just the filters were “not enough”?
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Michael, thanks for your feedback. I meant that the images with the filter still had too large of an exposure range. The foreground was still in shadow and the sky too bright even with the 3 stop grad. Maybe if I had 6 stops it would have worked out.
Siddhartha Joshi says
Excellent! I look forward to all the landscape images coming up a 🙂
Oh Wow! You are so lucky to see views like this. Wonderful sunset and obviously superbly processed.
Len Saltiel says
Wow Annes, what a great colorful sunset. The river acting as an “s” really adds so much interest especially with the reflections of that sky.
Russ Bishop says
Beautiful image Anne and very natural looking. I sometimes have to use the SND and still some additional exposure blending when the contrast is extreme.
Chris Hansen says
Anne, I love the reds and the “s” curve compositiion leading into the image. Superb!
I think you could indeed use ND with higher stops. I do what you do. I really try different things, filter, blending & brushing in photoshop, HDR.
Just to have all options open when I get back home..
Just want to say I love your landscapes, but I also love what I call my bits and pieces. These being closer looks at all that is around us, such as the bark of a tree, leaves, bugs, interesting stones, tree roots, shells, pattern of the water, reflections etc, so please keep on showing us these objects that all make up eventually the whole picture.