Category Archives: Moab

La Sal Mountains

The La Sal Mountains are a prominent feature in the desert landscape near Moab, Utah and act as a stark contrast to the sandstone and canyons surrounding Moab. This past winter as we were driving down the Potash Road the La Sals stood out fully covered with snow as the foreground leading up to the mountains were still filled with fall colors and the different textures of the sandstone and canyons leading up to the magnificent range of mountains.

La Sal Mountains

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Fuji X-T1, La Sal Mountains, Utah Tagged , , , |

A River Runs Through It – Dead Horse Point

This is Dead Horse Point at sunrise. One of my many wonderful trips with Ryan Wright over the past couple of years. This is one of the most amazing places at sunrise. This image captured some of the detail along the bottom of the canyon at Dead Horse point, where the Colorado River carved out its curve through the canyon.  It’s one of many horse shoe curves along the river as it runs south. The reflection below of the canyon walls in the river caught my eye and it’s most noticeable in the morning light. It is such a beautiful site and one I’m itching to get back to soon.

A sunrise reflection at Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, Utah

Sunrise Reflection at Dead Horse Point | Click to Enlarge

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Canon 5D Mk III, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park, landscape, Utah, VSCO Tagged , , , , |

Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise

There is something awe-inspiring about the textures, layers and tonal compression created by a Canyonlands sunrise. This last trip to Mesa Arch I ventured off for a little perspective of a Canyonlands sunrise and captured this image just after the sun rose above the horizon. I used a Circular Polarizer and a Singh-Ray 3-Stop Graduated ND to tone down the sun and then texture blended 3 exposures to create the textures and a hint of some God beams across the canyon buttes. I considered a black and white image here, but there was something about the warm textures in this color swayed me from converting it to monochrome.

The Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise

The Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise | Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Canon 5D Mk II, Canyonlands, Color Efex Pro 4, landscape, Mesa Arch, nature, Nik Software, southwest, sunrise, Utah Tagged , , , , , , |

Double Arch

The NxNW Crew had such a good time light painting Delicate Arch we decided to head to a new location. After navigating down the path from Delicate Arch with headlamps we ventured over to Double Arch, which is in the Windows area of Arches National Park. We interrupted a couple doing some time-lapse work and so we waited patiently for them to finish and hoped that we could light paint Double Arch before the Full Moon rose that evening.

I was finally able to test out the Brinkmann Dual Xenon Spotlight. Let me just say this thing has some intense power and was more than enough to light Double Arch. I had actually tested it a few times at Delicate Arch and was able to light the arch with a single beam from 50-75 yards away. I’m sure that with both beams active the light is really intense. It’s a fantastic light for light painting and it’s also rechargeable so you don’t have to constantly feed it batteries. It come’s with a car charger so when you are in remote locations you can just plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and don’t have to look for a plug.

With some experimenting and advice from Dave Wilson we realized that hitting an object straight on from the camera’s perspective gave the Arch a flat look. Chris Nitz was kind enough to take over the reigns and did the light painting honors from the left side of the arch. He climbed up into a clearing and painted the arch while we triggered our cameras. Lighting an object from the side allows the object to still show its texture and shape and give’s it a much more natural look.

Double Arch by Rick Louie Photography

Double Arch – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Brinkmann Dual Xenon Spotlight by Rick Louie Photography

Brinkmann Dual Xenon Spotlight

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Arches National Park, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Double Arch, Light Painting, long exposure, stars, Utah Tagged , , , , , , , |

Beyond the Mesa – Tonal Recession

One of the places that is a must visit on a trip to the Moab, Utah area is a sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.  Since there wasn’t much cloud cover I decided to back off from the scene and capture other perspectives from the Mesa Arch area and allow some who have never seen the sunrise light up the arch, capture the iconic scene. On this warm spring morning you can see the crowd of photographers gathered at Mesa Arch to capture the tradition sunrise like the paparazzi gathered to see Lindsay Lohan come out of rehab.

Photographers at Mesa Arch

Photographers at Mesa Arch

As the morning sunrise comes up above the horizon it creates an intense light on the Canyonlands. When the crowd of photographers left after the sunrise I was able to get back in and capture shots of the canyon below creating some tonal recession images. There are few places like Canyonlands to create these wonderful tonal recession images. If you are not familiar with tonal recession, it’s creating a sense of distance or space in a dynamic scene such as a landscape. Shadows recede in size with distance. I just love the layers in this image as the sun powers over the canyon.

Beyond the Mesa

Beyond the Mesa – Tonal Recession at Mesa Arch. Click to Purchase.

Capture Notes:

Also posted in b&w, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Canyonlands, landscape, Mesa Arch, Nik Software, Silver Efex Pro 2 Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Favorite Landscapes

It is always fun to look back over the year and realize all the places my camera has taken me and the memories of those journeys.  Today I’m sharing with you my top 10 landscape images for 2012.  They may not be the most popular, but for me took me places in my photographic journey that satisfied my soul to produce. This first image came from my first storm chasing journey. I captured this image on the eastern plains of Colorado about 45 minutes east of Denver near a town called Byers. I was trailing a storm heading east toward Kansas and noticed these incredible and eery looking Mammatus Clouds offset by the golden farm fields and the blacktop of Highway 36. I think everyone had headed inside to take cover from the tornado as I was able to setup my tripod in the middle of the highway to capture this image in the quiet stillness after this storm passed overhead.

Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus Clouds

Morning reflection was captured at Lake Isabelle in the Indian Peaks Wilderness/Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It was at this spot that I realized how powerful a tilt-shit lens was and the amazing detail I was able to produce not only in the foreground but also in the distance using a small aperture. It’s definitely on my bucket list of lenses to purchase in the future. It’s a good thing that rental companies carry this type of lens so I can satisfy my fix until I have enough coin to purchase one on my own.

Morning Reflection

Morning Reflection

One of my favorite trips this year was down to the southwest Colorado for the fall colors. Night photography and long exposures was my first passion with a camera and what trip would be complete without some long exposure work. Ryan Wright, Chase Shipley and I went out to Ohio Pass and captured the golden aspens against the starry night sky. I was really excited with this image as we shot some long exposures while Chase drove his Escape on the dirt road below illuminated the golden color of these aspens. I have to thank Ryan for this great light painting idea!

Aspens Aglow

Aspens Aglow

During the same fall tour I did some scouting on my own and ventured down the Cimarron Road from Gunnison to Ridgway, Colorado. Sometimes just being out on your own and allowing me to take in all the wonderful fall scenery and explore back country roads. I found this scene down a dirt road which wasn’t posted and came upon this small pond with a growth of aspens surrounding it. Normally the mid day sun takes its tolls on images, but this day was slightly overcast and with a polarizer cutting the glare from the pond it made for a perfect fall reflection of aspen trees.

Fall Reflection

Fall Reflection

Ryan Wright and I have developed a nice partnership this year and finally broke ground in starting Colorado Photo Tours.  I’m looking forward to the partnership with Ryan and being able to share the many wonderful locations in Colorado with other photographers. Hopefully we will see some of you in our tours this coming year.

Colorado Photo Tours - http://www.cophototours.com

Colorado Photo Tours: http://www.cophototours.com

I have been searching for the perfect stand of aspens during the fall and never seemed to find the right mix until this year. I think I always thought you had to stand right in front of the perfect set of aspens, but I’ve learned more and more that my 70-200 telephoto lens is a great landscape tool.  I found this perfect mix along Owl Creek Pass and use the compression of the long lens to give this scene the look I was hoping for with a shallow depth of field.

Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand

I have found that December is a great time to visit the American Desert Southwest. Sunrises are later in the morning and sunsets happen earlier in the evening! The best thing about visiting this area is the tourist population is very low if not non-existant in my locations. Down near Page, Arizona in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area you will find Horseshoe Bend. It’s a highly visited landmark and even during this winter sunset, there was quite the crowd at the site. The one thing I’ve learned to love and use this year is large 4X6 filters. I highly recommend Singh-Ray Filters for their clarity and you won’t find color casts that you will in other less expensive filters. They are expensive, but worth the money.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend

Here is another landmark from my trip to the Desert Southwest and another crook in the river at Dead Horse Point outside of Moab, Utah. The sunrise shoot looking out over Canyonlands National Park created for some unique details. One of the things I’ve discovered while shooting landscapes in the desert southwest is there is an intricate amount of detail and textures and to properly create the visually appealing image the use of luminosity masks allow certain details to be exposed and transform the image. The image above and below I used luminosity masks to bring out some of the finer details of the image making an ordinary scene more vibrant. I still have a lot to learn and one of the things on my list this year is some more training in Photoshop to expand my post processing abilities.

Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point

 

What trip would be complete without some astrophotography at Arches National Park? This was the first time I have ever done any stacking. It’s not really hard, just got to get out a remote timer and let it run. The only issue was I didn’t have my timer so I sat there with my wireless remote and triggered 40+ images! It all worked out.  Luckily the night was void of wind.

Over Arching Star Trails

Over Arching Star Trails

I’m adding a couple of images that haven’t made it to my blog yet this year. One of my favorite images this year didn’t come from my Canon 5D Mark II, it came from my iPhone. I upgraded to the iPhone 5 this year and find that 8mp can create some amazing images. Snapseed has been my favorite post processing tool in the iPhone and as you can see below it’s made for some amazing results. I actually have a Android based Samsung Galaxy SIII with an 8mp camera. I’ve compared the two and find that the image coming from the iPhone have much better image quality. This image below is of Monument Valley. I’m not sure if it was the hype of the place, but I just found it to be a pure tourist trap.  Yes you see some amazing images from this area, but was just turned off right from having to pay the $10/per person entrance fee.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Finally a new one from Upper Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona. I’ve always wanted to visit the slot canyons. It is during the summer months that you can that wonderful beam of sunlight in the canyons that you see in many images, but I found that even during the winter months there are many wonderful colors and images still to be had in the canyons. I’ll just say right now that it is worth it if you are a photographer to pay the extra money for a longer photographic tour of the canyon. The extra time really gives you a chance to take your time and capture the scenes properly instead of being rushed through with a normal tour. Here’s my first image from the Upper Antelope Canyon. I’ll publish a few more next year. I look forward to following up on some leads to some other canyons in the area for future trips.

Sands of Time - Upper Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Sands of Time

There is a Best of 2012 Landscapes gallery in my online store and don’t forget there is a 30% sale going on right now.

Year End Print Sale

Year End Print Sale – 30% Off: http://ricklouiephoto.smugmug.com

Thanks for all the support this year.  I couldn’t have done it with out you. I look forward to sharing my journeys with you next year.

Also posted in Arches National Park, aspens, astrophotography, butte, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5, Canyonlands, Colorado, Colorado River, desert, Double Arch, eastern plains, fall, Lake Isabelle, landscape, long exposure, luminosity mask, Monument Valley, Ohio Pass, reflection, Snapseed, southwest, stars, sunrise, sunset, trees, Utah Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Desert Southwest iPhoneography

I haven’t really had a chance to process my photos from the Desert Southwest, but I thought today I’d give you a little taste with some of my iPhone images from the trip.  If you follow me on twitter or Instagram you’ve probably seen these, but this is a nice summary.  It’s perfect for an iPhone Friday!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Turret Arch - Arches National Park

Turret Arch – Arches National Park

Sunset on Lake Powell

Sunset on Lake Powell

Gooseneck State Park, Utah

Gooseneck State Park, Utah

Mokee Dugway

Mokee Dugway

Effigy of Mammoth - Bluff, Utah

Effigy of Mammoth: “In Bluff UT, during the winter solstice (21 Dec 2012), the town’s folk are going to burn a 16-foot-tall mammoth in effigy. The mammoth will be burned at 8 pm in a ceremony complete with flaming darts to set the structure on fire.” – Tired Road Warrior

Hole N' The Rock

Hole N’ The Rock!

Sunset in the Desert!

Sunset in the Desert!

Sunset at Turret Arch

Sunset at Turret Arch

Dinner and the Broncos at the Moab Brewery!

Dinner and the Broncos at the Moab Brewery!

Sunrise Photography with Ryan Wright at Dead Horse Point, Utah.

Sunrise Photography with Ryan Wright at Dead Horse Point, Utah.

Love Muffin Cafe, Moab, Utah

My favorite breakfast spot: Love Muffin Cafe, Moab, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona

Sunrise at Lake Powell, Page, Arizona

Sunrise at Lake Powell, Page, Arizona

Golden Hour on Lake Powell

Golden Hour on Lake Powell

 

Also posted in Arches National Park, Canon 5D Mk II, iPhone, Monument Valley, Utah Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stars over Double Arch

I had a great short trip out to the desert southwest with Ryan Wright and am really excited about some of the images. The only issue is trying to find the time to process them. We spent a couple of days in Moab at the beginning and end of the trip and mixed it in with a trip down to Page, Arizona. The weather was really cooperative and gave us some dramatic skies and mild temperatures. It wasn’t until we got back into Colorado did we hit snow. I was hoping for a little snow, but I may have to find that on my next trip out to the desert.

The last evening in Moab we were greeted with clear skys and a waning crescent moon so it made for excellent star gazing and astrophotography. It was a chilly 21 degrees when we drove out to Arches National Park, but when we got to our spot underneath the Double Arch there was no wind and actually made for a pleasant evening among the stars. We used some flashlights to light paint the arches and to give the landmark some detail in the night sky.

Stars over Double Arch - Arches National Park

Stars over Double Arch – Click to Enlarge

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Arches National Park, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Double Arch, landscape, luminosity mask, Photoshop, stars, Utah Tagged , , , , , , , |

Sunrise at Mesa Arch

I thought today I’d bring you back to Utah and Canyonlands National Park for a sunrise at Mesa Arch. I’ve processed a previous image from Mesa Arch, but this image gives you a little different angle on the famous landmark. Hopefully I’ll get back to the Moab area again this fall.  There are so many other places I want to see in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

I lost my main drive this weekend.  I’m not happy about it, but should have taken measures sooner to replace a failing solution. I have backups so luckily with some hours this week, my new storage solution will be in place and up and running. I’m also taking this opportunity to finally do a full cut over from Aperture to Lightroom 4. I’m hoping by next week I’ll be fully up and running. I have too many client shoots coming up for me to be down any longer than this week. Anyway my posts maybe limited this week, but I’ll do my best to get out a couple more posts this week.

Have a great Monday!

Sunrise at Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Click to Enlarge

Also posted in Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Canyonlands, landscape, Mesa Arch, nature Tagged , , , , , , , |

Year-end Review 2011

This year has really flown by!  I can’t believe it is the end of 2011 already.  I just want to take this time now to thank a fellow photographer, Justin Balog (Hossedia.com) for changing my life!  He’s not only been a huge influence  and help in terms of photography and my blog but if it wasn’t for his fitness challenge I probably wouldn’t have gotten up off my duff and gotten around to the many places that I visited this year.  Who would have thought I would have climbed up above 12,000 ft. this year and sat on top of Jones Pass taking pictures of the continental divide?  I don’t think I ever would have imagined doing that this time last year.  Justin, if your reading this, next veggie burger is on me!

Boy it was hard narrowing down images from this past year.  There are photos in this collection that were before my blog started so they maybe new to some of you readers. Some images have some sentimental reason behind the photos that made them ones I liked and other photos have been popular with my followers.  The Full 2011 Year-End Summary Collection is available for purchase in the Rick Louie Photography Store.

Some of you are asking about my iPhone images?  I’m going to present that album on my Facebook page just like I do every Saturday.  Head on over to the Hansrico Facebook page and give it a “Like” so you can see the iPhone 2011 Year-End review on New Year’s Eve.

Thanks again to all my clients, followers and fellow photographers for a fantastic 2011! We’ll see you back here in 2012!  Have a Happy New Year!

2011 Year End Summary Collection  

The Queen City - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - The Queen City - Panorama of Lower Downtown Denver - My Best Selling Image is currently being sold at American Furniture Warehouse Stores in Colorado

Leaving Union Station - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Light Trails of a Light Rail Train Leaving Union Station in Downtown Denver

The Underground ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - The Underground - One of my favorite captures of a doorway in an alley in Downtown Denver

Burrard Reflective - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Burrard Reflective - Long Exposure of Burrard Art Deco Bridge and downtown Vancouver, BC

The Flatirons - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - The Flatirons in Chautauqua Park, Boulder, Colorado - My first image to make Flickr Explorer Front Page

The Golden Gate Bridge -  ©2011 Hansrico Photograpy - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

Sunset's Colors at Oxbow Bend

Click to Enlarge - The colors of sunset at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park

 

Sunflower Sunset - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved

Click to Enlarge - A sunflower field at sunset on the Eastern Plains of Colorado

Jones Pass - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - The view of the Continental Divide from the top of Jones Pass

Reflection Pool

Click to Enlarge - The light from the full moon reflecting off a pool of water after hiking down from Jones Pass

Vermillion Lakes - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Sunrise at Vermillion Lakes in Banff, Alberta, Canada

Where the Buffalo Roam

Click to Enlarge - Bison grazing on the Open Range in Grand Teton National Park

The Big Apple

Click to Enlarge - The New York City Skyline as seen from Brooklyn, NY

Mesa Sunrise

Click to Enlarge - Sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

 

Fury Road

Click to Enlarge - An open road just off of the River Road in the Castle Valley area just outside of Moab, Utah.

Lunar Eclipse

Click to Enlarge - The Lunar Eclipse as seen from Sloan's Lake in Denver, Colorado

Be sure to enter my New Year’s Giveaway 2012 and your chance to win my Sunflower Sunset print!

Sunflower Sunset - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Sunflower Sunset - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Also posted in b&w, balloon, Banff, bison, Boreas Pass, Brooklyn Bridge, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, Canyonlands, Christmas, Civic Center, clouds, Colorado, Continental Divide, Denver, eastern plains, fall, Fisher Towers, full moon, Golden Gate Bridge, Grand Teton National Park, Jones Pass, lake, landscape, long exposure, Mad Max, Manhattan, Mesa Arch, moon, Mt. Evans, Mt. Moran, nature, New York, Nik Software, onOne Software, Oxbow Bend, reflection, River Road, Sloan's Lake, sunburst, sunflower, sunrise, sunset, trees, Union Station, Utah, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Vermillion Lakes, Viveza 2, wildlife Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |