JAWS – MAUI SURF BREAKS BIG

MAUI JAWS STUDY

In my last post, I mentioned having a workshop on the next day with big waves – and it did not disappoint!  Jackie and I had worked together the last two years and this year we decided to do a two day photo workshop, allowing us more time to get to some of the further out spots of Maui and the Hana side.  The first day, Jaws was breaking BIG – like, 40+ feet – so after a quick sunrise shoot at Ho’okipa Point, we made our way down the road to Pe’ahi.

MAUI JAWS STUDY

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, we both shot many frames of these incredible surfers riding these beautiful epic waves.

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BEST PLACES TO PHOTOGRAPH IN SAN FRANCISCO

You could spend an entire lifetime photographing the San Francisco Bay Area and still not capture it all.  It is one of those rare gems – packed full of scenic vistas and perspectives that can keep the passionate photographer endlessly inspired.  It certainly keeps me visually interested and coming back, year after year.  I still continue to find new vantages that compose nicely in the photographic frame.  But what if you are only coming to the city for a weekend, where do you go?  I will share with you some of my favorite locations to photograph in San Francisco.  Some of them are very iconic, some of them are a bit less widely known.  Alternatively, you could join me personally and explore my favorite spots alongside me during one of my SF photo workshops.

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TOWER AT SUNRISE

GOLDEN GATE SUNRISE  San Francisco, California

#1.  Battery Spencer     This spot is certainly no secret, but regardless, it is one of the most spectacular locations to photograph.  And not just in San Francisco, but perhaps the entire country!  This is called Battery Spencer.  Get up there at sunrise or sunset and be prepared to be blown away!  It feels like the Golden Gate bridge is close enough to reach out and touch, which is a very cool feeling.  If you can translate some of that feeling photographically, you are likely to make a powerful photograph.  You can use wide angle lenses all the way to longer lenses for countless perspectives.  Get creative and experiment.  For the above photograph, I was in position well before sunrise and prepared when the light started to get sweet.  The thick fog helped keep the composition simple and clean – making it all about the light, color and atmosphere.

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MAKE FIRE – TURNING A PHOTOGRAPHIC SPARK OF INSPIRATION INTO FIRE

THE WALL  La Jolla, California

There we were on Shell Beach in Southern California’s “Jewel” – La Jolla.  If you consider shorts, t-shirt and flip flops ideal attire, then the mid-August weather was just perfect.  The sweet morning light was just beginning to show herself to those of us eager enough to be awake, which on this morning included myself and seven photography workshop participants who were joining me for one of my California workshops.  Shell Beach seemed like an ideal location to take seven passionate photographers for a sunrise – it’s small and intimate, yet contains many elements that can be arranged well for a diverse style of seeing photographic compositions.  It’s only as wide as a football field, yet both sides lead upward to steep cliffs that stretch out toward the sea, undercut with partial caves on the sides and a scattering of rocks throughout the beach, with a couple large rocks just offshore where pelicans and cormorants linger about.  Having photographed this spot many times before, I knew good compositional arrangements could be made, but of course, it is also quite easy to include too much or too little and fall short of success as well.  So, an ideal setting to place students – a place where they can make it work, or not, and then discuss the why’s and why not’s as to what is working and what is not working in real time.

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PHOTOGRAPHING ACTIVE LAVA ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII

NEW EARTH  Big Island, Hawaii 2013

It’s 4:30am.  Crazy to think that I’ve already been awake for over an hour – not that I’m thinking, and not that I’m really awake!  But here I am, at Isaac Hale State Park on the Big Island of Hawaii with 20 other walking zombies that look a lot like sleepy tourists, all anxious and curious by the adventure that awaits us.

Captain Shane Turpin and crew of two pull up alongside our gathered group of sleepwalkers in a big truck, towing an awkward looking passenger boat hitched on a trailer.  After some curt dialogue about the what-and-what-not’s to our impending trip, we climb a ladder and board the boat.  The driver then drives us down to the boat ramp, backs us in to the water, and before we know it, we are free from the trailer and moving out past the breakers into the dark sea.

I have my pack full of camera gear with two layers of water resistant protection at my feet.  I’m wearing a fleece and and a raincoat, which keeps me warm in the surprisingly cool morning and does well enough keeping me dry against the waves that are continuously splashing and blowing into the boat and in my face.  My shorts are soaked.  I feel like a Navy Seal going out on a special night mission, but keep getting pulled back to reality by the chitter-chatter of over-talkative tourists.  Isn’t O-dark-early a time for quiet?  I wonder to myself, curious as to how some people can never be still and silent.

45 minutes-to-an-hour later, we arrive at our destination – New Earth, in the form of hot molten lava flowing steadily into the Pacific Ocean, splendidly steaming and smoking and wonderfully beautiful.  Captain Shane maneuvers the boat with effortless ease, to within yards of the lava.  I feel the radiance on my face and legs, and within minutes, the glowing heat dries my wet shorts.  The lava meets the sea at a number of different spots along a 1/4 mile stretch of coast. In some spots, the thick fiery substance slowly drops into the water, and in other spots it’s gushing, as if it is being pumped out of the earth.  It is totally awesome to view this spectacle in the dark of night!

As wonderful as it is to the eyes, attempting to photograph hot molten lava in the dark of night from a moving boat in a rough sea, is completely futile.  I practice patience and wait for the light of a coming sunrise to illuminate the scene while enjoying the moment – which to my delight, has proven to be so powerful of a scene that it has rendered some silence from the tourists.  Amen!

Before too long, the light of day takes over the darkness and I am able to start working with the camera.  The Captain slowly runs the boat parallel to the coast so the passengers on one side are able to view and photograph, then turns back the other way allowing the others the spectacular view.  With this method, you are face to face with the amazing sight, or looking out to sea and the setting of a crescent moon.  During the 5-minute periods of looking out to sea, I review my images and quickly adjust my settings to better capture this dynamic scene.  In the end, there’s probably not more than 10 minutes of optimal light to shoot images while being face to face with the lava.

One aspect of concern is that half-a-dozen times, we are completely immersed in the gaseous fumes spewing out of the planet.  Just 2 days ago, I was told by a guide while hiking into the lava flow on foot, “Don’t breathe that smoke and gas – it will kill you.”  I also remember reading online in my research that it is very dangerous to breathe.  Apparently, I am the only one on this boat that has been told this or read this in my research!  The Captain obviously does not seem concerned, and every time we are immersed in smoke and gas, I am the only one aboard that responds by burying my face and eyes into a relatively protective cocoon I’ve formed inside my fleece and raincoat.  On the occasion I peer out, my eyes burn and I quickly burrow back into my cocoon.  These periods are fleeting, maybe 30-45 seconds at a time, and it’s easy enough to cover up, but it still leaves me wondering, how harmful is this?  If not for me on this one-time experience, then for the Captain and his crew who do this multiple times daily?

Morning has broken, the sweet light is fading, and we make our final pass by the lava before heading back to our starting point.  The seas are a little rougher now, but no one seems to mind much, buzzed with the high of a spectacular experience freshly emblazoned in heart and mind.  To see Mother Nature creating more land, New Earth, right in front of my eyes…what an insanely incredible experience!

EARTH BLOOD  Big Island, Hawaii 2013

HOT WATER. STUDY 1  Big Island, Hawaii 2013

The photo workshop side of my business is growing all of the time and Maui Photo Expeditions has been a lot of fun so far.  I am looking to expand some trips outside of Maui and would love to get over to the Big Island more, so will be actively planning group trips over there.  In the meantime, if you are visiting the Big Island of Hawaii and would like to discuss a personalized one-on-one workshop like I provide here on Maui, please Contact Me.  I am happy to island-hop over!  See details to my Maui Photo Expeditions HERE.

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FISHERMAN HAVE MUCH IN COMMON

see the fisherman in red?

It seems nearly every time I go out shooting, I find myself in a stunning location at the magic hour to enjoy the clouds passing by and the sounds of the ocean, and if I’m lucky, the chance to get a sweet shot in my camera.  Continue reading

“HOW DO YOU GET THOSE COLORS IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS?”

When I exhibit my work, I am often asked this question in one form or another: how do you get these colors in your photographs?  I can’t help but to be a bit bemused by the question, especially when it comes the day after an epic island sunset that had sicko colors blazing across the entire sky, but have come to expect having to answer this question.  I find it an odd question mainly because I see insane colors in nature all of the time.  Granted, as a photographer, I likely pay closer attention to this than others, but still, there are many times where nature’s light is so dynamic that it forces you to stop and look, whether it be sunset light or a vibrant wildflower – do these folks not see this color?

For those of you who are color-deficient (not due to medical reasons), here are 3 easy ways to Enhance the Vividness reaching your eyeballs:

  • 1)  Take walks at sunrise or sunset.
  • 2)  Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • 3)  Purchase a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses!
  • I’ve been wearing these glasses for 15 years and they truly make the world more beautiful!  I don’t step outside without ’em…unless it’s nighttime ;)

Now, I know that most of the people who ask me about the color in my photographs aren’t asking me because they don’t feel that it exists in the world, as much as it doesn’t exist in their photographs.  This is what they’re essentially asking: Why don’t my photographs look like this?  (In fact, I get that exact question too, and I generally respond by saying, You probably haven’t dedicated the past decade to photography.)  So, if this is what people are essentially asking, then I wonder, why would you expect your photographs to look like this?  If you haven’t awaken 104 times before sunrise to get out shooting in the past year, and if you haven’t missed 234 dinner-times to get out shooting in the past year, and if you haven’t fully dedicated yourself to trying to see and capture dynamic light and color, then why would you expect your photographs to look like this?

The reality is, the dynamic nature of the color in my photographs come from a number of elements.  First of all, place and time of day.  This is obviously the most important factor and it can be insulting when people overlook this and go straight to some comment like, So, are these colors all like photoshopped?  I usually have a quick Woody Allen movie-like-moment in my head where I smack ’em in the head and tell there 6 year old to get their goofball dad outta here before I clone-stamp his ass to oblivion.  (Actually, I totally just made that up and have never thought that before, but you get the idea..)  These type of people require you to have a thick-skin, that’s for sure!  It comes from ignorance, and generally someone who wants an easy explanation of-a-thing – something that will fit nicely in a little box and get compartmentalized and then it’s off to the next thing to quickly solve.  For those people – have fun with that.  So when I say obviously, obviously I am not speaking about everyone.  For the rest of you, place and time of day is the most important factor.  You gotta have dynamic light and color in the foundation of your image, captured in-camera, to have a dynamic and vivid image in your final results.  Or, at least – I do.  After that, you’ve got your post-production, printing, finishing, lighting – all important elements to the color that people see in the work.

This week, I did a photography workshop here on Maui with a father and son from Washington State.  They wanted to cover a number of things, but they were both curious and made multiple inquiries to my color in the days leading up to the workshop.  I decided to take some of the mystery out of it and show them a few images from beginning to end.  I am going to show you the same thing with this image from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco that I captured during my last visit to California.

Here is the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw, straight outta the camera.  The colors are all in the foundation to the image.  The way a digital camera records a scene, it leaves things a bit unfinished.  Whereas a positive slide transparency like Fuji Velvia, properly exposed, is damn near a complete photograph outta camera, digital RAW capture is more like a negative and needs to be completed by the photographer.

Oh, and the back-story to the image – I was shooting here the night before for sunset when the fog moved in, so I felt optimistic about some ethereal sunrise possibilities.  I stayed with a friend in South City 45 minutes away, and although we stayed up ’til 1am-or-later drinking beer and playing Wii bowling, I still managed to get my ass up at 4:30am and get back up here for sunrise…without coffee!  Why on earth would I do such a thing?  Because of Enhance the Vividness Rule #1 people…to get the color.

All I have done in ACR is brought the color temperature down a bit, making the image cooler.  In so doing, the blues and pink become more blue and pink.

Here it is opened into Photoshop.

I open the image into Nik Colr Efex Pro and put a Contrast Color Range layer onto the image.  This is a tool that I use quite often and like.  You can achieve the same results on your own without the plugin, but it speeds things up and works very well.

Here, I apply a subtle curve to the upper part of the image and sky, just to bring those levels up some.

Finally, to add that little bit of punch, I add a little Vibrance and small-kine Saturation.

There, you get to see the path this image followed from out-of-camera to completion.  Not a big stretch.  The foundation has to hold the goods, otherwise you gotta get back out there and shoot it again.  You don’t get good shots every time you go out, because there isn’t going to be dynamic light and color every time you go out, and then the 10 times you do get the sweet-light, 1/2 the time you’ll still not get the shot because of one reason or another.  So, in reality, if you want to get dynamic color in your photographs, you’ve got to get out there a bunch and shoot lots.  If you simply want to see vivid color, pay closer attention and get yourself some Maui Jim’s!

THE “STUDY” OF SUBJECT – BANDON, OREGON PHOTOGRAPHS

 

“In order to obtain pictures by means of the camera it is well to choose your subject, and carefully study the lines and lighting.  After having determined upon these, watch and await the moment in which everything is in balance; that is, satisfied your eye. This often means hours of patient waiting.  Of course, the result contains an element of chance, as one might have stood there for hours without succeeding in getting the desired pictures.” Alfred Stieglitz – “The Hand Camera” (1897)

This is my most common approach to the art of landscape photography – the studying of subject.  I find compositions that I am drawn to and that resonate with me, and then I return to them a number of times during the landscape photographer’s working hours.

  • landscape photographer working hours:
    •an hour before sunrise to an hour after
    •an hour before sunset to an hour after
    •during the night
    •during banker hours (only while stormy and tempestuous) 

With these above working hours, you really don’t have a lot of time to study the subject – in optimal light anyways.  Therefore, you’re likely gonna have to return a bunch of times to get something special.  Now, if you’re lazy, terribly busy, or otherwise lacking the passion involved to drive dynamic work, you might not like the sound of this.  But, if you are driven to get dynamic images, then this is great news!  Essentially, once you find a strong composition that resonates with you and you know works, then it’s just a matter of time before you get a successful image.  Get your ass back there time after time – sunrise, sunset, full moon, new moon.  Wake up early, miss dinner, stay out late.  Work the subject.  Study the subject.  With this style of work, you begin to know the subject.  You begin to see how the light falls on the subject at different times, you learn the tidal conditions in relation to the subject, when people frequent the location and how that may or may not affect you, and many other little nuances of the scene.  Through learning these nuances of the subject, you form a relationship, and like any relationship, depth begins to form.  It’s in this depth that you begin to breathe life into your work, and it is this life that makes the work more dynamic and resonate more strongly with viewers.

“The essential quality of a photograph is the emotional impact that it carries, which is a measure of the author’s success in translating into photographic terms his own emotional response to the subject.” Eliot Porter

This style of work may breathe new life into your photographs.  It certainly did for me.  While living in La Jolla, California for a several years, I started working this way and my work became much stronger.  I wrote about it here, and again here.

While this style of work can obviously help tremendously while photographing at home, I often take the same approach while traveling.  Take the images in this post from Bandon, Oregon as example.  I was traveling for 23 days through parts of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.  I had researched extensively before leaving home and had been very drawn to these sea stacks along the coast Oregon and Washington coasts.  I explored online all the images I could find of these many rock formations stretching along the entire west coast, as well as studying these coastline details on Google Maps – an invaluable tool for photographers!  The features and shape of this pointy rock in Bandon resonated with me so much and I knew I had to spend some time there exploring it in-person with my camera.

I decided on a place right on the beach, with some of the sea stacks directly out the back door!  My stay was 2 nights and 3 days.  My first afternoon, I walked the beach until I found the pointy rock that I was drawn to.  Sure enough, it was my favorite rock along the beach.  Not to say it wasn’t all impressive!  Bandon is absolutely stunning and I could certainly stay there for longer than a few days, and I could certainly photograph much of the scenery.  But, I wasn’t there for too long and time being limited, I decided to study the subject, and focus my efforts on this particular rock.  This would better ensure that I’d get a keeper for my gallery collection of works.  So, during the couple sunsets, sunrises, and the one clear night I had, I was out photographing this rock…getting to know her.

You’ll often find that when you approach the work this way, that you end up with a number of dynamic images that you like, making it more challenging to edit the work down to just one or two top images for a collection.  This is a good problem!  It is much better to have 6 strong images and have trouble narrowing it down to 1 or 2, than trying to pick an image to represent the place that falls short.  Besides, you can still use the not-quite-collection-worthy images, I often call them “book shots”.  They are good enough for showing in a book, but not quite strong enough to be a part of a limited edition collection.  Your gallery collection should be your absolute strongest and tightly edited works.

If you haven’t approached your work this way yet, then I encourage you to do it.  Find something near your home that you are drawn to visually, and dedicate a month to it.  Go back often in the landscape photographer working hours.  Go often!  Immerse yourself in the scene.  If you get some good shots, don’t stop.  Keep going.  Go during the different moon phases, sunrise, sunset.  Go at least a dozen times in a month, and see what you end up with.  Still not satisfied?  Then keep going.  It’s not meant to be easy!  If it were, everybody would have great collections of photographs.  It’s a lot of work!  Enjoy it.  It’s great being outside, in the elements, away from the TV!  It’s healthy for the spirit.  And, if you still don’t like it, then go do something else – this isn’t for you.  This is for the passionate photographers and artists who want to create more dynamic work.  This is for you.  Embrace the place, form relationships of depth with your subject matter.  Love the scene.  When you love it, you want to visit it often, and you do so with an open heart.  When you approach the work in this way, good things will happen, I promise.  You may find that even the “mistakes” are pretty cool…

…and the successful ones – they are gems that stay with you forever.

 

SCRIPPS PIER OF LA JOLLA

SUN STAR PIER, La Jolla, California, August 2009

Within days of moving to La Jolla at the beginning of 2005, I discovered this local landmark – the Scripps Pier, and immediately was drawn to it photographically.  I didn’t have any previous connection to piers or other of man’s constructions along the water’s edge, but that would change living in La Jolla, and in large part because of this pier.  I returned every sunset for nearly 3 weeks to get my first successful image of this pier – Time.  That particular photograph really started a new direction for my photography and made my work more personal.  It would be fair to say that that image marked the beginning of working on my own aesthetic and creating my own images, as opposed to looking at others and trying to replicate.  I imagine that most photographers and artists go through similar stages – it begins with trying to make the work you look up to and respect, and once you feel capable and have learned the techniques involved and the process, then you can begin to find your own aesthetic and create a new style that is more unique.  This photograph, Time, and the process of making it, being patient and returning every night before everything was right, had much to do with directing me to a new and more personal path as an artist.

Prior to this time, once I had a successful image of a location, I would generally not return to shoot it further.  Why mess with a good thing?  That too changed in La Jolla, and again, in large part because of this pier.  After several months, I had began to learn much about this tunnel-view composition and what I was drawn to about it.  It hung in the front of the gallery that I spent much time in and I had the opportunity to speak with the public about the photo in length.  This furthered my feelings and understanding of the piece.  A desire to shoot it again arose and within a year, after many visits, I had made a second successful image, Fog.

Through the first 2 years, I made, what I would call – 2 successful images that were “gallery worthy”.  In my third year, I went through a major aesthetic change in my work and went from shooting primarily bright Fuji Velvia color panoramic work to dark and moody black and white square compositions.  There were a number of reasons behind this, a darker mood and life outlook due to events in my life; a feeling that color was too often distracting the viewer of more clear communication; finding myself more drawn personally on an artistic level to cleaner, simpler works, to name a few.  In the end, this transition came completely naturally and with ease and my shooting was invigorated like never before.  I began to re-shoot many of the compositions that I had become familiar with in the area, and found many new ones and ways of making images.   At the end of a string of, yet many more visits, I had made my third successful image, and perhaps my favorite yet, Passage.

Through 3 1/2 years in La Jolla, I would say it’s safe to say I have photographed the Scripps Pier over 100 sunsets.  I have certainly thought that it would be cool to capture an image with the sun setting down the center of the corridor, and at one point, I made some conscious pursuit at it, but my timing was off and I never really followed through with it, never getting closer than a week of the proper time.  I suppose it wasn’t so important to me that I find the exact day or two of the year that it’s do-able.  In reality, I’m really not that much of a planner and it goes against my style completely to turn the art into a science and research as to the exact time and earthly coordinates…blah!  That would be one quick way to take the joy out of photographing, for me.

So, you could call it sweet karma, randomness, coincidence, dumb luck, or whatever you’d like, but on my final evening in La Jolla before moving away, I decide to head out one last time to shoot Scripps Pier at sunset.  I’m super-busy packing and cleaning, and generally waiting until the last minute, like I do.  As I arrive at the pier, it’s 5 minutes from sunset and I can see that the sun is lining up better than I have ever seen.  This is pretty cool, I think as I set up the tripod.  Just as I get the camera set and my settings in order, the sun clips the upper right corner of the frame at the end of the corridor.  Sweet! I take about 8-10 exposures, bracketing and trying different f-stops before settling on f/22 to get the more dramatic starburst.  The sun is visible in the frame for about 2 minutes before it moves north out of sight in this composition.

To get this on my last night in La Jolla!  Pretty cool is an understatement!

TIME, 2006

FOG, 2007

PASSAGE, 2009

(in retrospective – May, 2012)

With some years and many images now between me and this era in La Jolla and these images, it’s interesting to look back, and to see how new thoughts and feelings have developed.  I still feel that Time was the image that sent me on my own path, it felt so original at the time, and therefore it still holds a special place along my path as a photographer.  I wonder if most artists have such a clear moment when their works become more personal.  Perhaps for many, this exact moment is not clear, or for others, clarity of vision never comes at all.

Not too long after Time and Fog, and while still living in La Jolla, Peter Lik came to town and opened a gallery around the corner from my work/exhibit place at that time, the Bartram Gallery.  He evidently was attracted to the composition as well, because soon after he saw my image Time, he came out with his own version – the same composition but, on a gray day with poor light.  Obviously, he didn’t go down there a bunch of times to get sweet light!  It looked like a one-and-done, which I found a bit surprising from him – if you’re gonna replicate, then you’ve got to at least match-or-better the original, right?!  Especially if you’re the self-proclaimed greatest photographer in the galaxy.   Well, I’m guessing he agreed that his first attempt was weak because more recently, a few years later, he’s now come out with a newer version with a bit more dynamic light.  Better than the first attempt, but I think I’ve still got him beat on this one. ;)

 

MAUI WINDMILLS

Yesterday I woke up at 4:20 am and headed out to meet a friend for an early morning hike along Maui’s Pali Trail.  After nearly two decades of residing off and on on Maui, this was a trail I had never previously hiked – with the rumors of it being so dry, hot and exposed, it never held much appeal to me.  With the early start and an added sense of adventure, I was finally game.

Surprisingly awake, or delirious, we started our trek on the Maalaea side at 5 am in the pre-sunrise darkness.  The trail was rugged as we made our way up the 1600 feet of elevation gain.  Had it been mid-day, it would had been semi-awful, but with the early hour and the high winds, it was quite nice.

Near the high point of the hike, we made our way through the Kaheawa wind farm.  Since 2006, twenty windmills operated by First Wind have been generating nearly 10% of Maui’s electric power, enough energy to power about 11,000 Maui homes annually.  They are near completion of adding on 14 more wind turbines, enough to power an additional 7,700 Maui homes annually.

The image above are some of the new wind turbines and they continue up the slopes of the mountain.  In this case, a longer exposure and passing clouds help create the feeling of wind, and makes for a more dynamic image of some much appreciated clean energy.

TIME EXPOSED = 8 SECONDS

 

AN IMMORTAL MOMENT

AN IMMORTAL MOMENT  Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

This is why you have to set the alarm to 4-something and get up out of your warm sleeping bag and get out there!  It’s called Sweet Light and it is always a sight for the eyes and makes the heart giddy – or is that the  sleep deprivation?  Either way, it’s well worth waking for, even after a late night of cold-adult-beverages and the company of good friends.  Hell, you can sleep during the day when the light sucks! and if you’re a little slow (a.k.a. hungover), there’s nothing like the Sweet Light to lift you up.

We camped at Oh Ridge Campground for a couple nights which is the perfect place to stay to shoot at Mono Lake.  It overlooks the scenic June Lake and is a 20 minute drive from the campsite to the parking area at the State Natural Reserve along the north shore of Mono Lake.

I went down three times to this area over the couple days and walked away every time with shots I was happy with.  Sure, I was lucky with the stormy skies, but even with clear skies, I think you could make some compositions work here – it’s just that interesting of a place!  This image is looking west with the sunrise at my back.  Most of my efforts during this spell were with a black and white aesthetic, but for this 10 minute period, it was impossible to ignore the color version of this amazing scene.

TIME EXPOSED = 30 SECONDS