This shoot was inspired by a true giant in the landscape photography world – Ron Niebrugge. Ron posted some gorgeous shots taken at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on his photo blog about two weeks before my trip to Colorado. Since my route from Silverton to Denver would take me right through that area, I insisted on stopping to take some shots along the way.
It was a strange shoot because it consisted of me running out of the van at every overlook and throwing up the tripod in 40-50mph winds. Since dad was waiting for me in the van, I didn’t want to make him wait too long. I’d fire off three bracketed shots, recompose a couple of times, shoot again, then run back to the van to move to the next shot. It was more like carpet bombing than photography – but we had some miles to get in that day and didn’t have the luxury of waiting for ideal light.
It’s really a spectacular location – incredibly deep and crazy rock detail everywhere you look. The hardest thing from a photographers point of view is that there is so much to take in that it’s actually difficult to compose a shot that doesn’t try to show too much. Again, I relied on taking three shots and blending them to deal with some very bad lighting conditions that day. I really didn’t know if I had anything usable until we got to the hotel that night in Gunnison (which is actually about two hours away from the canyon!) and I started to blend them in Photomatix Pro.
Vital Stats: Canon 5D Mark II w/Canon 17-40 f/4L @21mm ISO 800, f/22, 1/30 sec.