One thing about Bryce that makes it "difficult" for my preferred style of shooting is often times the foreground elements leave something to be desired. They aren't very "clean". The "solution" to that "problem" is to switch to a little bit longer lens and leave out the dominating foreground elements. One then makes the mid-ground work as a foreground, the "background" work as the mid-ground and the sky work as the "background". That works very well and and I've got lots of shots like that from this trip and others. Often times what "troubles" me about those shots is that due to the nature of the landscape you get distracting elements that pop in on the edges of the frame. Trying to frame them out of the image simply results in losing some other area of drama in the composition. That's simply the way it is at Bryce.
With that being said, my #1 goal for this trip was to make a "dramatic" composition with a very strong foreground element. The morning I took this shot, I found this spot well before sunrise (I had been shooting the milky way about 90 mins before sunrise and the sky had gotten bright enough that the milky way was no longer clearly defined). I snapped an image of this in the pitch black and moved on. The farther around the Rim Trail I traveled, the more my mind kept coming back to that spot. So after about 15-20 mins of exploration along the Rim, I went back to this spot. It took me about 5-10 mins of recomposing the image for me to get it where I was happy with it (I kept running into the issues above, along with where to place the sun in the scene). At that point, it was just waiting for the sky to become "right". Fortunately for me, during this image, the sun went behind the closer stratus clouds while continuing to illuminate the altocumulus clouds high in the sky. It made balancing the exposure (which was challenging as I was shooting pretty much direly into the sunrise) way easier. I still had to use a 3 stop revers GND filter to balance the exposure.
With that back-story, there are alot of "design elements" that I intentionally utilized in this photo. All of these are present in this photo in some way:
Contrasting colors: Orange/blue are on opposite sides of the color wheel. It's why even though This Image has a "better" sky, I personally prefer the one in this post). The natural red/pinks/oranges of the rocks in this part of the world, will often naturally provide this contrast and it's why Southern UT and Northern AZ are mecca's for landscape photography.
Congruent elements/Juxtaposition of elements: The light colored flowers and the light clouds mimic each other in color, luminance and form.
Leading lines: The different sedimentary layers in the hoodoos and the altocumulus clouds direct the viewers eye towards the center of the image.
S-Curve: The green trees moving thru the middle of the image work similarly the leading lines above. It also proves as sense of "movement" in the image.
Intersecting layers: See "deep space" below.
and my favorite "Deep space" (the sense of "infinite" depth in the image). The foreground, mid-ground, background and sky IMHO, work together very well in this image to provide a sense of vastness to the landscape.
There's alot going on in this image that the casual observer might not pick up on.
Last edited by Lonnie Utah
on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.