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A Photo that Took a Decade of Trying: Sunrise at Angel Arch

A Photo that Took a Decade of Trying: Sunrise at Angel Arch

A Photo that Took a Decade of Trying: Sunrise at Angel Arch 1

In 1991, near the end of some book projects that took me on some lengthy photographic journeys through the American West by car for two years, I came up with the idea of creating posters of some of my black and white images for a few of our western National Parks.

My idea was to provide park visitors with a choice instead of the commonplace color posters. Some of those color posters were excellent but I felt there was a large audience who appreciate black and white. My idea, which I pitched to some of my favourite parks, was to provide the visitors with a “fine art” visual interpretation in black and white.

My original attempts were met with great interest by the various Natural History Associations. Most were already familiar with my photography because of various photographic projects such as magazine articles, gallery/museum shows, or word-of-mouth. I had completed a color slide show for Capitol Reef National Park a few years before, and my black and white work was already known by some Natural History executives of Canyonlands and Death Valley National Parks.

In this four-part series written for the ELEMENTS Magazine, I am discussing most of these posters. I’ll give technical information where my memory serves me correctly, aesthetic considerations and some highlights of making the photographs on the scene. Please join me on this journey through the past!

A Photo that Took a Decade of Trying: Sunrise at Angel Arch 2
Lynn Radeka at the Mars Overlook | Photo by Ron Gaut

This story is brought to you by ELEMENTS Magazine. ELEMENTS is the new monthly magazine dedicated to the finest landscape photography, insightful editorials and fluid, clean design. Use the PETAPIXEL10 code for a 10% discount off the annual subscription.


Sunrise, Angel Arch

The first image considered for a poster was Sunrise, Angel Arch. There’s an interesting background to this image. The route to Angel Arch, in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, was strictly four-wheel-drive for 20-some miles. Much of the road is deep sand, with the danger of quicksand in some spots. After rising well before sunrise, I left the “Jeepers camp” and drove the rougher one-mile spur road that led closer to the arch.

Although I photographed the unusual rock formation known as Molar Rock, placing Angel Arch in the background, there was a disturbing quality to the shapes, and I couldn’t compose an elegant image. My attention turned to Angel Arch, a magnificent stately masterpiece. I originally made an image of this subject in 1975 using 4×5 Tri-X film developed normally in Kodak HC-110. I visualized the image as a stark formal composition, so I used a #16 orange filter to darken the clear blue sky while keeping the warm sunlit arch bright. As I watched the sunlight slowly move down the face of the arch, I hoped that the foreground cliff below the arch would remain in a clearly defined shadow. It did, but only for a matter of seconds before the sunlight began to spill onto the shaded cliff. There was only time to make one exposure!

After returning home and developing the negative, I noticed some large dust spots in the sky. When printing, I deemed the dust spots too objectionable, breaking up what should be a smooth, dark sky. Also, the contrast of the negative was high, making it difficult to achieve subtle values in the sunlit arch. I resolved to reshoot the image.

Over the course of the next ten years, I made probably five trips to the arch, but the weather conditions never offered a clear blue sky at the right time after sunrise. On one of those trips, my assistant and friend Al Callju and I were caught in a frightening downpour at the end of the road. This rapidly turned into a flash flood, and we were forced to spend the evening inside my 1970 Bronco instead of returning to the Jeepers camp. It was a scary but exhilarating time, one of many which would permanently define my adventures as a photographer! The next morning, lingering cloud cover from the storm ended any chance of a clear blue sky.

Finally, in 1985 I was able to repeat the image, a full ten years after my 1975 negative. I shot two or three similar negatives but only one satisfied me in terms of the clearly defined shadowed cliff. Seconds made a difference, which is often the case. Fortunately, this new negative was better in terms of fewer, barely noticeable dust spots and more manageable contrast. I had just adopted HC-110 dilution E, which seemed to give a nicer tonal progression than dilution B (which I used for the 1975 negative) and allowed for a slightly longer development time.

My first press check for a poster of this image was dismal. The blacks were a dark grey and there was no intensity in the image. I clearly had a lot to learn about poster printing – the quality of the scan, sharpness in the scanning process, dot gain, using duotone inks, screen angles, paper selection, and the terminology used by the operators of the presses. I spent many sleepless nights obsessing about the details. It wasn’t until two or three printings later that I was somewhat satisfied with the poster quality, but every image seemed to produce a slightly new learning curve.

A Photo that Took a Decade of Trying: Sunrise at Angel Arch 1
Sunrise, Angel Arch | Lynn Radeka

My response to this image is one of a theatrical stage performance. I view the arch as a brightly lit performer on a stage. The shadowed cliff needed detail to elevate an otherwise bland image into a more three-dimensional image with tactile shadow qualities. Much of this was accomplished in the original print by using a pin-registered shadow contrast increase mask to deepen the stripes in the shadowed cliff, a process I learned from Dr. Dennis McNutt in 1989.


The article is courtesy of ELEMENTS MagazineELEMENTS is the new monthly magazine dedicated to the finest landscape photography, insightful editorials, and fluid, clean design. Inside you will find exclusive and in-depth articles and imagery by the best landscape photographers in the world such as Freeman Patterson, Bruce Barnbaum, Rachael Talibart, Charles Cramer, Hans Strand, Erin Babnik, and Tony Hewitt, to name a few. Use the PETAPIXEL10 code for a 10% discount off the annual subscription.


About the author: Lynn Radeka’s professional photography career spans more than 50 years. Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams and Wynn Bullock, both of whom critiqued his prints, he continues to pursue a technical and aesthetic mastery of the medium of photography. His love of the grand landscapes and intimate details of the American West was born on his first trip to Death Valley in 1966.

Lynn Radeka’s Black and White photography has been featured in eight National Park posters and is represented by several galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He also has the honor of being a featured photographer in the recent book publication “World’s Top Photographers: Landscape.” Lynn Radeka currently leads photography workshops in Death Valley, Utah and New Mexico with many more locations planned for the near future.

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Llandudno Sunrise Shot Wins ‘Photo Of The Week’ Accolade

Llandudno Sunrise Shot Wins 'Photo Of The Week' Accolade

A seascape featuring the longest pier found in North Wales has won ePHOTOzine’s ‘Photo of the Week’ award.

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Competitions

Llandudno Sunrise

 

A photo featuring Llandudno Pier sat against a calm sea and the sun as it rises for another day has been crowned ePHOTOzine’s ‘Photo of the Week’ (POTW). 

Captured by Ingymon and simply titled ‘Llandudno Sunrise‘ features lovely pastel shades with the strong structure of the pier almost silhouetted against the sunrise sky. The pier guides the eye through the shot while a smattering of rocks adds foreground interest bottom-left and the land sitting top-right gives something the eye to anchor on when you move through the photo from left to right. The light of the sun bleeding into the smooth ocean is beautiful as are the subtle tones throughout the shot. 

All of our POTW winners receive an EVO Plus 64GB MicroSDXC card with an SD Adapter courtesy of Samsung. To be in with a chance of becoming our next POTW winner, simply upload an image to our gallery where you’ll also find all of our past POTW winners.

Plus, going forward, we will also announce a new ‘Photo of the Year’ winner who’ll win a Samsung Portable SSD T7. Each POTW winner, 52 in total, will then have their image shared in a new POTW forum where, in January 2022, we will ask you all to hit the ‘like’ button on your favourite images. Then, the ePHOTOzine team will count up the likes and our first ‘Photo of the Year’ winner will be announced. 

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Why It’s Worth Getting up at 3am for Sunrise Photography

Why It's Worth Getting up at 3am for Sunrise Photography

Sunrise photography is no easy task and takes some real dedication to pull off. Here’s why one landscape photographer loves getting up at 3am to shoot epic sunrises.

Almost every photographer I know has gone through some moments of real dedication for their craft, and arguably, landscape photographers have to do it more often than most.

In my career, I’ve stood in mid-winter swamp at 6am, I’ve trekked through the rain forest at midday, and I’ve stood less than a meter away from certain death at the edge of a glacier in a blizzard. The list really does go on, ranging from the uncomfortable to the ill-advised. Had I not had a camera in my hands, had I not been a photographer, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing these sort of things. So why do I? Why do so many suffer and risk for photography? I believe it’s because the best images hide behind those sacrifices.

In this video, Nigel Danson walks you through why he gets up at 3am for sunrise photography, and loves it. Danson is an expert landscape photographer and undoubtedly committed to the cause, but 3am is crazy for most; there’s early and then there’s that. But the truth is, if he wants to get the great shots you rarely see, you have to go that extra mile.

This has always been my philosophy too: if you want to take images unlike the sea of images already out there, you cannot walk the same path. If you do, you’re waiting for luck to strike. However, if you get up at 3am to trek to a location far away for sunrise, the chances are, few people have been doing that. Find your 3am trek and set yourself apart.

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Scottish Highlands Sunrise Wins ‘Photo Of The Week’ Title

Scottish Highlands Sunrise Wins 'Photo Of The Week' Title

A colourful sunrise landscape full of Autumnal tones has won our ‘Photo of the Week’ accolade.

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Competitions

Rise and Shine

By chris-p

 

A beautiful landscape image that’s captured a stunning sunrise over a loch in the Scottish Highlands as won our ‘Photo of the Week’ (POTW) title. 

We love so much about ‘Rise and Shine‘ including the tones, colours and how the silhouettes of the Swans contrast brilliantly against the amazing surroundings. The mist rising off the Loch adds atmosphere as do the clouds streaking across the sky which is just beginning to be lit by the sun as it rises to bring warmth to another beautiful Autumn day. The air of calm is palatable and in a time when we’re all looking for ways we can practise a bit more mindfulness, this image gives you the perfect excuse to stop, breath and just enjoy the amazing landscape we have around us here in the UK – simply stunning. 

All of our POTW winners receive an EVO Plus 64GB MicroSDXC card with SD Adapter courtesy of Samsung. To be in with a chance of becoming our next POTW winner, simply upload an image to our gallery where you’ll also find all of our past POTW winners.

 

 

 

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

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Maine Resident Has Photographed Nearly Every Local Sunrise For Seven Years

Maine Resident Has Photographed Nearly Every Local Sunrise For Seven Years

In what has been the feel-good story of the day, Maine photographer Rick Barber was recently featured on his local news for his efforts to photograph and share the sunrise from his home of Ogunquit for the past seven years.

“There’s something about the start of the day. lt’s a way that one can get going again and to watch the sun come means that we have another day given to us to do good things for each other,” Barber told News Center Maine.

His photo endeavors apparently started a few years ago when he started tweeting them at local weathermen and other reports he met. His photos would occasionally be shared by not only the local news but as far away as Boston or even on the Weather Channel.

According to the story, Barber only recently started considering himself a photographer, citing that he was “just a guy who took the pictures.” Barber has done his best to photograph every sunrise, missing only a few. When he is on vacation, he still photographs whatever sunrise he can see from wherever he is, but told News Center Maine that Ogunquit is still his favorite.

I have to say, there is something particularly uplifting about scrolling either his public Facebook album or Twitter feed. For nearly as long as you can keep swiping, you will be greeted with sunrise after sunrise. “This year especially more people weren’t able to come to Ogunquit or Maine … so a lot of people are telling me how much the pictures mean because they’re able to experience being here without being here and feeling a little less lonely at home and that just warms my heart,” Barber said.

If you’re in need of a smile today, take a scroll through Barber’s photos, as they are sure to please. Barber has described his practice as a “spiritual experience,” and part of that is sharing his images with others. I for one, am happy to oblige him.

(Via News Center Maine)

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