Tag Archives: Utah

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

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Posted in Fuji X-T1, La Sal Mountains, Moab, Utah Also 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:

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

Happy New Year 2014

I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year 2014!

I’m looking forward to a new and exciting year this year in photography.

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Now is your chance to have one of my prints in your home or office or get that special gift you didn’t get for Christmas!

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Posted in Canon 5D Mk III Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Moonrise over Arches

One of the things a full moon is not good for is capturing stars.  The full moon is like the sun and blows out the sky around it. I was in Arches National Park last year with the SWSX Photographers tour group back in April and it was a few days prior to a full moon.  We only had a few hours of night-time sky to capture the stars before the big moon came out.

Once the moon came out the stars began to dissipate, but I decided to shoot directly into the moon rise just over the arches and capture it like similar to a sunrise just as it peaked over a opening in the formations. The stars were still somewhat visible but it the bright moon created a silhouette affect for the formations and haloed over the rock formations like a sunrise.

This image kind of reminds me of the Christmas Star over the baby’s manger.  I hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday season! I’m rather enjoying some time off and spending time with my family and I hope you get to do the same.  Have a great week everyone!

Moonrise over Arches

Moonrise over Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

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Posted in Arches National Park, astrophotography, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, moon, Utah Also tagged , , , |

Public Restroom Cisco Utah

Here’s a little change of pace today from Cisco, Utah.  Cisco is a ghost town in Utah near the junction of SR-128 and I-70. At one time the town served as a saloon and water-refilling station for the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad. The town has many remnants of the railroad glory days, but now has been filled with abandoned vehicles and has become victim of vandals and heavy damage. This town is perfect for a little HDR photography and shooting the town at the high noon hour it’s also a chance to use your black and white photography to capture contrasts.

I decide to mix the two today and create a little piece of Americana today. Here’s my artistic vision on the town’s public restroom (outhouse) that sits on the edge of town with the La Sal Mountains as a backdrop. I wanted to give this image an old yellowed film image look. This is a 5-image HDR processed in Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finalized it in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Public Restroom - Cisco Utah

Public Restroom – Cisco Utah – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Capture Notes:

Posted in Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Cisco, HDR, La Sal Mountains, Nik Software, Silver Efex Pro 2, Utah Also 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:

Posted in Canon 5D Mk II, Canyonlands, Color Efex Pro 4, landscape, Mesa Arch, Moab, nature, Nik Software, southwest, sunrise, Utah Also 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:

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

Light Painting Delicate Arch

One of my goals this NXNW Photography trip to Moab was to do some light painting and so the group decided that the first spot would be to Delicate Arch for sunset and then hang around for the sun to go down and to paint the famous arch. If you have never been to Delicate Arch it’s a strenuous 1.5 mile hike up slick rock and I found out that carrying a large backpack with multiple lenses and lighting gear that I wasn’t in much in shape as I was the previous time.  It’s definitely something I need to work on and one of my goals for this year.

We arrived to find a large crowd waiting for sunset.  It was like a party except there wasn’t a feature band there ready to play.  People had wine and cheese, just sitting around for the sunset. It’s definitely more crowded during this busy season than in the Winter when I like to go out to the Moab area.

When it finally came time to light up the arch there was another group there doing a workshop and it was led by non-other than the exceptional sports photographer Dave Black.  We had run into Dave Black and his workshop group the previous day while we were at Cisco, Utah so it was coincidence that bumped into the group again. I had hoped to tryout my new Brinkmann Dual Xenon Spotlight in light painting Delicate Arch, but allowed Dave to do the work.  He was kind and allowed us to participate with his group since we had gone up for the same activity.

I did come away with the image I was looking for which was a bonus. I call it Delicately Glowing. Tomorrow I’ll share with you Light Painting at Double Arch again and with the use of the Brinkmann.

Be sure to check out the blogs of the other NxNw Photographers.  They are sharing their images from Moab as well.

Justin Balog Michael Criswell Mark Garbowski Bob Lussier Chris Nitz Dave Wilson

Light Painting Delicate Arch by Rick Louie Photography

Delicately Glowing – Click to enlarge/purchase

Capture Notes:

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

The Cisco Kid

There is an abandoned ghost town just across the border from Colorado inside Utah at I-70 and SR-128. The name of the town is Cisco and once served as a saloon and water filling station for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The town died with the death of the steam engine and unfortunately since it’s so close to the freeway it’s been a victim of vandals and has succumb to damage and a place for abandoning cars.

I first heard of this wonderful town from Justin Balog and found it to be a treasure of scenery for rural/urban exploration photography and creating some excellent HDR work.  I think we later found out that there is still occupants in this town with some stern hand painted warnings of “Do Not Trespass”  and arrival of local law enforcement just as we were leaving.

This last adventure Justin and I played tour host to a number of HDR photographers so how could we not stop at Cisco.  Justin was nice enough to pose long enough for a 3-shot bracket in front of one of the abandoned cars in the area. I processed it using Nik Software’s HDR Pro and then warmed it up and applied a lighten/darken center with Color Efex Pro 4. I call this image The Cisco Kid.

The Cisco Kid

The Cisco Kid – Justin Balog in Cisco, Utah

Capture Notes:

Posted in Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Cisco, Color Efex Pro 4, HDR, Nik Software Also 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:

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