King of the Valley – Utah.

King of the Valley – Valley of the gods Utah, Spring 2012

We drove out of Colorado and into Utah, planning to see Monument Valley. And we did, but what was better than that was Valley of the gods Utah. A place created in the same magnificent beauty as Monument, but open and spacious. Where you camp below giant spires of red rock and stay up late into the silent night looking at the stars streaking overhead.

Sometimes I think God used more colorful paint in Utah. We stayed three days here in the valley on this little used public land. Exploring the area and enjoying the sweeping colorful views. The sunset brought some of those great early spring clouds and that radiant color of light that only Utah seems to have. It was a memorable place in our 2012 trip and a colorful image for my collection.

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Released prints….

For Photographers. How it was made…

Technical Notes: Canon MK2, 17-40L @40mm f11, 1/60, ISO100

In a great sunset, the right light really is essential. And the Utah red rock is no exception. It’s easy to get a flat scene if you expose too early or too late. The key is waiting for the natural light to define your subject in just the way you want. I watched and waited for the sun to go down and could see the line of light moving cross the stones. I was working on a large format film image around the same time and remember thinking carefully about when I would trigger that single frame. After that was finished, I quickly setup and did this from different perspective MK2.

When the light is just right and you nail the exposure just the way you want, the post processing is often pretty straight forward. Gentleness is usually the key and that’s what I used here. Just a bit of color and channel corrections in Lightroom before going into Photoshop for my final artwork and corrections, primarily some gentle burning and dodging to get the tones value right where I wanted.

I also find myself waiting for the right clouds more and more lately. What good is is having one part of an image look amazing and the other part lack. I’ll often stand and wait for the clouds to move into place and I may have done that here, but the sun was moving and clouds don’t always cooperate just the way I want. While I really enjoy the image and love the clouds, the open sky on the far is bothering me a little and I’m not sure what I think about that.

All told I really like this image. It may not be earth shattering, but it has a simple beauty that shows just how stunning this place is. I’ll know better what I think once I see it in print, but I think it’s a image worthy of this stunning piece of creation.

Hope you enjoyed… Gav

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2 Responses to King of the Valley – Utah.

  1. Don Young says:

    A very nice image. It takes you back to a time with only the cowboys rode the range, and slept under the stars. I will have to add this to my place to visit. Thanks.

  2. Gavin Seim says:

    Thanks Doug… Gav

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