Montezuma Castle

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by flygning, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    I was trying to give this shot as much depth as is possible when looking at the face of a cliff. To do so, I shot with the smallest aperture possible, and tried to get an angle so that there seemed to be something leading up to the cliff dwelling (the line of the cliff itself). A wider angle lens than my camera has would have given a good solid foreground leading up to the dwelling, so instead I included as much of the brush as I could and a bit of the tree to give it some more depth. The timing of our visit was such that I could not shoot in anything but very direct sunlight, unfortunately-- a lower sun would have lit the entire dwelling itself.

    What do you think? Do you feel the framing adds enough interest to the photograph? What else could I have done (aside from buying a DSLR...) to add more depth to the shot?
     
  2. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This place is a bear to shoot. I believe the location is south facing and being sheltered back into the cliff limits the light. Plus, if there is any morning early evening light, isn't access locked up by then?

    You did very well. Possibly darken everything (sky, vegetation, tree, rocks on right) and leave the castle light like it is- That may give it some depth? I like the flow. Nice work.
     
  3. Fox Paw

    Fox Paw TPF Noob!

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    I haven't been there in a few years, but my memory says that abraxas is right--tough place to take a good shot. You did well.

    A lot of the coolest places with ruins (e.g., Walnut Canyon) aren't open during prime photo time. The Sears-Kay ruins up by Cave Creek are good, though nothing like Montezuma's Castle, and they're always open, if you feel like getting up early.
     
  4. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for looking!

    [​IMG]

    Here's what I tried- I darkened the whole exposure, did a layer to lighten up the ruins and another to lighten up the shadows on the ruins. Doesn't really do much for me though.

    If we had stayed another hour or two, the sun would have lit the whole face of the ruins. The place closes at 6, so I could go back and reshoot in the winter to get evening light. Now that I think about it though, if I wait long enough in the evening the cliff itself will cast shadows again, so I guess there isn't a whole lot to do about it.

    I have a friend who is a site steward for several of the ruins in AZ, and he knows where most of the good, non-touristy places are. I'll try those sometime to get better exposures.
     
  5. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're good.

    Would've been a heck of a place to live.
     
  6. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    They would have had a great view of the valley there. Still, I can't imagine how eager I'd be to scale a cliff to get home after a long day of working in the fields in the middle of summer in the middle of Arizona. I'd go sleep in the creek instead.
     

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