Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hoodoos, Stars and Lightning by Phillip Monson

Toadstool Hoodoos, Grand Stair-case Escalante ~ © Phillip Monson (click to enlarge)
Canon 5D Mark III • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens @ 35mm • f/3.2 • 30 sec • ISO 640
I'll let Phill describe how this photo was produced: "After shooting the sunset at the Toadstool Hoodoos in Grand Staircase-Escalante [National Monument], my friend and I headed back to our 'camp' for the night so we could rest up before an early morning. With a full moon out, it totally washed out the sky so we didn't plan on any night shots. Around 4:00 A.M., however, we were awaken up by an intense lightning show; and with the moon having set, we knew it was too good an opportunity to pass up, so we made the hike back out and set up. The storm moved perfectly behind the best side of the main hoodoo, and with the moon gone, we got a few stars as well."

The light painting was done with a Brinkmann Dual Xenon Spotlight, which he bounced off the rocks to the side of him, in order to get more even coverage.

Below, is another image from Phill's beloved southwest desert area of Utah. It is in an area known as the "Devil's Garden" of the Escalante region. There was a gap between the foreground area and the tall hoodoos where he hid and pointed the Dual Xenon light at the ground, enabling him to get the even bounce light onto the hoodoos.  [Editor's note: experienced light painters often employ this bounce or reflection technique to produce even lighting in close quarters, or use it to give directional lighting to objects hundreds of feet away. The reflected light also tends to warm and amplify the colors of these sandstone formations.]

"Three Patriarchs", Grand Stair-case Escalante ~ © Phillip Monson (click to enlarge)
Canon 5D Mark III • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens @ 16mm • f/3.2 • 30 sec • ISO 640
Phillip Monson got his first DSLR, a Canon Rebel, in late 2008 for a trip to Europe, and has been hooked on making images ever since. Phill found landscape photography to be his biggest interest, primarily of the southwest deserts of Utah. He tries to frequent these areas every other month. When not working as a sales trainer at his day job, he tries to get out as much as possible to the amazing scenery that Utah has to offer. Phill is also currently working on a photo book of all the Utah LDS Temples. More of his photography can be found at his Facebook, Flickr, and Google+ pages.

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