Moab Photo Workshop Day 1

Today was the first day of the Photo workshop.  So far it has been a blast.  I am not going to write too much on account of the fact that I have to get up at 4AM to be out the door by 4:30AM so that we can shoot sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.  That should be a lot of fun aside from the getting up before the ass-crack of dawn.  Actually, tomorrow has the potential to be a very long day as I believe we are also suppose to do sunset at Delicate Arch.

Anyway, we kicked off the day with a lame breakfast at the hotel.  I suppose it could have been worse.  Then we headed off to the meeting location in town to meet the rest of the group.  Ten people, mostly from around the western park of the country make up the group.  I am definitely the youngest in the group, but I don’t think that people mind, I certainly don’t.  There is very large dynamic of knowledge, which is great.  The instructor, Winston “Tuner” C. Hall is a great person.  he has a lot of energy and experience and he is fun to work with.  It will be interesting when we get to our first processing session tomorrow.

Today we spent a couple hours in the classroom getting to know everyone, making settings on cameras and talking about techniques.  Some things were basic, some were new.  My goal here is to really learn to make better compositions, and i think that a lot of the information will help.  We then headed off to the “Birthing Stone” which is a stone with some amazing petroglyphs.  It isn’t in either of the parks here, it is on BLM land.  Currently you can get pretty close to it which made for some interesting shots.  It is so named due to the depiction of a woman giving birth.

From the Birthing Stone we headed into town for lunch and then off to Canyonlands to scout the location for the sunrise shoot and also to climb Aztec Mesa.  Aztec Mesa has some old Aztec granaries just below the top.  We hiked through some of them and I captured this image with my new 15mm full frame fisheye lens.  This image is an HDR image.  HDR stand for “High Dynamic Range” and is a technique that has ben developed with digital cameras to more closely mimic the dynamic range visible to the human eye.  The human eye can see a range of around 16-stops whereas a digital sensor can see about 5-stops.  HDR images are composed of a series of images taken to expose for details in the highlights, shadows and mid-tones.  I am still relatively new in the HDR scene, so I am still playing with software and technique.  Here is the image:

Triple Arch View HDR 1From a series of 5 images shot in 1ev steps to +/-2ev. Handheld, HDR composite using Photomatix Plugin for Aperture.
©2010 Alex Weisman

As always, comments and critique are welcome.  I will post more photos later, for now, I am off to bed!

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