March 25, 2012

Location: Salt Flats

For two weeks now, I've been without my camera.  It decided to die on me while traveling in Monument Valley.  I took it into Pictureline in Salt Lake City and had them send it into Canon for a repair.  Last week, I got some good news about how much it was actually going to cost me to fix my camera, so I will be reunited with it soon.  It's a good thing I have a very giving friend who lent me her camera while I've been without mine.  It's actually the same body I used just a year ago; the Canon XS.  It is a great camera, but boy, do I miss my full frame.

Being at the Salt Flats last night made me realize why I love photography.  The sky put on a light show and I was more than happy to be a part of it.  The 'true' salt flats were covered with a layer of water, so driving on them was not an option.  But a dirt road a few miles west provided some cracking desert floors with clear 360 degree views.  It was an amazing night and I took full advantage.  

Now, on to some technical talk.  The only way I could have gotten these photos in-camera was with the use of my favorite Singh-Ray neutral density (ND) filters.  All of the images in this post, except the last one, were captured with two ND filters stacked on top of each other; 3-stop reverse ND, and 2-stop soft step graduated ND filter, with a total of 5 stops to balance out the exposure difference between the foreground and the sky.  Without these filters, I would have either a white sky or a dark foreground in every photo.  The camera's sensor has only so much range and needs help holding back brighter areas, in this case, the sky to properly expose the scene.  Filters allow the photographer to capture a scene exactly how they saw it.  I use my ND filters often and would recommend them to anyone looking to get into landscape photography.   

March 14, 2012

Spirit of America: Monument Valley

When I think of America I think of places like Monument Valley.  There is something about the place.  Maybe it's all the films showcasing the buttes behind a tough heroic cowboy, maybe it's the remoteness, or maybe it's just the pure beauty of the desert.  Whatever it is, it has inspired me to create a series of photos entitled, "Spirit of America".  I've included the image below to start off the series.  Tell me what you think.

March 05, 2012

LDP Blog One Year Mark

I was going through the blog's archives and realized I hit the one year mark in the middle of February!  What an amazing year it's been!  I am so grateful to those who have followed my blog and left comments.  I feel lucky to have this blog and the few followers that keep coming back.  Thank you.  I also feel really lucky to have photography as a passion.  Even if it's only supplementing my income, until I can break free and try this thing full time.  I hope to bring you even better visual stories in the coming year.  Thank you again, for tuning in.  

Here are some of the highlights from the last year:

Arches National Park (three times; here, here and here)
Grand Teton National Park (twice; here and here)
Occupy Movement coverage (here and here)
Lunar Eclipse Over Salt Lake
Southwest Adventure (Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Arches)
Bonneville Speed Week