Photo-Journey to the Grand Canyon - Afternoon Through Sunset (14 big pics)

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by astrostu, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've visited the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona before, twice. The first time was on a road trip with several women during a summer internship in 2004. The second time was a geology field trip my first year in grad school in 2005. Both times, I kinda felt that it was "just a hole in the ground," and also something that is very difficult to photograph. It's just hard to really capture the vastness of such a landform as the Grand Canyon in a photograph.

    Last week, it was my third time to go to the Mars Crater Consortium's annual conference in Flagstaff, AZ, and I figured that since I had already done almost all the parks/monuments in the area (several times) and I had a US Parks Pass for the year, I should try again for the Grand Canyon. I had about 3.5 hrs of shooting time, from about 2:45-6:15, from when I got there until sunset.

    I hiked around a bit, drove to most of the places along the South Rim, and exclusively used my 24-70mm f/2.8L lens. I took about 400 photos, though most of them were stitched into panoramas, and below are several of the best, I think. Most are panoramas, a few are HDRs. I'm curious as to what you folks think.

    #1
    [​IMG]

    #2
    [​IMG]

    #3
    [​IMG]

    #4
    [​IMG]

    #5
    [​IMG]

    #6
    [​IMG]

    #7
    [​IMG]

    #8
    [​IMG]

    #9
    [​IMG]

    #10
    [​IMG]

    #11
    [​IMG]

    #12
    [​IMG]

    #13
    [​IMG]

    #14
    [​IMG]
     
  2. phocus78

    phocus78 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow
     
  3. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks, phocus. Though, is that a good "wow" or a sucky "wow?" :)

    Hmm. About 40 views so far and 1 reply. I'm far below the average ratio of 1:10 for this forum. :(
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    These are very good, astrostu. I've also found that photographing the canyon is extremely difficult. It is hard to give anyone the sense of incredible size and depth. I think the best images I have seen have been in bad weather, with clouds cutting off alot of the visibility and expanse, or images focusing on something on the foreground with the canyon as a backdrop. For that reason, #1 and #2 are my favorites of your series.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,797
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I guess shots 1 and 2 are the best, but the remaining shots do nothing for me. He last one, with the shadows on the canyon, have very little visual information. The handling of the shadow values is just not garnering visual interest--I cannot see into the shadows well enough.

    On frames 5 on down, the shadow values look like they could use a boost, for a bit more punch. I'm sure it was beautiful and awe-inspiring but it's not coming through for me. I think the amount of actual, aerial haze that was present on the day you were there might be hurting the rendering quite a bit; the haze is strong enough to impact the color saturation in the sunlighted areas, and so once the sunlight faded away, I think the haze really hurt the shadowed areas, probably exponentially worse that it had been impacting the sunlighted areas earlier in the day.
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Derrel - There was quite a bit of haze when I shot these, but part of the issue is the image size and looking at it on the screen vs. print. I test-printed one of the shots with high shadow and it came out much better than it looks on the screen. Not only that, but if you look at the photos when they're quite a bit larger, they do look significantly better.

    Not sure how to take care of that for smaller viewing and on-screen viewing. Another possible issue is that I'm still getting used to OS X's switch of a gamma of 1.8 to 2.2. I'm trying to stick with the 2.2 instead of going back down because Windows uses that as the default.

    P.S. Edit: I also did try to up the brightness on some of those, but it made it look like it was day instead of sunset. If I have time, I'll post an example later today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Alrighty. Here's the last image. First is the original after the HDR combination. Levels are posted first (black on the left, white on the right).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This image is just with some minor Curves adjustments in order to tone down the foreground and try to separate it from the sky. After looking at this more closely, I will admit that I think I like it more the the original I posted, except for the fact that there is very little difference in brightness between the distant parts of the canyon and the sky.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And finally the one that's posted above. You'll notice that the shadowed parts do still have detail in them, it's just in the lower ~20% of the dynamic range, which is closer to what it appeared to be in-person.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  8. David84

    David84 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    #9 and #11 are my favs.... #11 more so I think.

    Nice work!

    -David
     
  9. polymoog

    polymoog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,283
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Meercat Manor
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Nr. 11 is lovely :)
     
  10. Froggy

    Froggy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Toulouse, France
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Great set with some stunning view :)
    Well done on #11, I like it!

    Do you shoot in JPG to have that kind of histogramme after touching up??
    I do advise you to shoot in raw to get a larger dynamic range so that you keep all image's information! You will get a better quality of photo.
     
  11. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Boulder, CO, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's all RAW, all edited in 16-bit. For some reason after PS does a curves correction and I stick a levels layer on top of it it seems to show it as 8-bit, even though all editing is in 16-bit. Not sure why.
     

Share This Page