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Archive 2012 · A different view of Mesa Arch
  
 
Camperjim
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A different view of Mesa Arch


One of the things I like to do is to shoot well-known icons with an original and unusual interpretation. I used to post a few of these on the Landscape Forum and almost always got a very negative response. It seems that most landscape shooters, at least on the FM forum, are looking for the iconic shot and something different seems to fall short of the desired perfection.

I thought I would try to post one of my unique interpretations on this forum and see if I get any useful feedback. The iconic Mesa Arch image should include the arch with lighting to show the red color at the bottom of the arch. Usually the sun is shot as a sunburst and the image almost always includes the "washer woman" formation. I shot this version to optimize the washer woman and avoided the sunburst. I would appreciate any comments on improving the processing. In order to achieve the desired effect, I had to process this as a 2-frame panoroma stitch.







Nov 09, 2012 at 06:03 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Hi Jim, I am guessing this was with a telephoto lens standing back from the arch to get that perspective of Washer Women. You also got some glow on the arch, which is the main attraction to this place.

Assuming I am correct there must only be 1-2 days a year when the park is empty enough to get this view, otherwise all you would see is the backs of 20 other photographers.

I have several non glow trips, and one when me and my son in law and a ranger were the only ones there. I did something like this but without a glow I scrapped it. I never thought the location was worth much without the glow. But then I am not an arch fan.

I think you met your objectives. It's different, it emphasizes the arch it has aerial perspective with the haze which is often popular. Other than the underside of the arch, and the silhouettes, there is not much detail. I guess that is what I would want for this image.



Nov 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Ben, thanks for the feedback.

The lack of detail was not necessarily one of my objectives. Shooting into the sun with haze kills the detail and adds speckled noise. I am not sure that is an appearance I like or dislike but short of massive photoshop work there is no much I can see to change that.

The capture and processing is a bit more interesting than your initial speculation. First I doubt there is any time of the year without crowds around Mesa Arch at sunrise. Certainly not on May 23 when this was taken. I had about 30 photographers and tripods to deal with. Secondly, I don't think it is possible to get back far enough and to achieve this level of compression with a telephoto. Nice guess, but not the technique I used.

It takes someone who has been there to realize that this image took a special technique and some effort. Of course being difficult does not necessarily make a good image. I did have fun with the effort and I think I created an image which might intrigue anyone who has shot Mesa Arch.

Should I spill the beans or let you and anyone else guess again? I did give a hint. This is a pano stitch from two captures.



Nov 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Well the size of Washer Women sure says telephoto which to me means over 35 in ff landscape terms. Now to get the entire arch when standing in the line of other photogs requires 14mm ff. 17 works if you are at the extreme right side. So when I say telephoto and crop camera, perhaps 50mm? This is why you had to stitch. My last trip I had to stitch 17 to get the entire arch.


I actually did have it to myself in April, but the weather was terrible.

There is a remark in Lurants book about getting back and using a telephoto. I actually looked for such a spot that day but could not find it. Probably requires some rock climbing.



Nov 09, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Even without anyone else there, I think you would need a helicopter to get this type of image with a telephoto. Not only would you need to be back quite a ways, but you would really need to be high off the ground to get an angle where you could see washer woman.


Nov 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A different view of Mesa Arch


This image was created with the power of photoshop blending for panorama stitching.

I made a shot through the left side of the arch and then took another shot from the right side of the arch. I had no intention of stitching these together and I did not even use the same focal lengths. In one image the washer woman is much bigger than in the other image. Somehow photoshop is able to stitch these together and create a natural appearing image. Stitching required the interactive mode. With normal modes, photoshop does not recognize the image match. With interactive stitching, you must manually align the images as well as possible. Photoshop then does the blending and I did not need any additional manual cleanup. I was impressed that this worked.

I cannot see any way this could be duplicated with a telephoto. In addition to the compression, the shot would need to be made from high above the ground. In addition the arch is way too wide and narrow for a single image to work well.

All of these are OOC images downsized without additional processing.





left side of image

  Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi    61mm    f/11.0    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







right side of image

  Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi    42mm    f/11.0    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







entire arch from a single capture

  Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi    11mm    f/13.0    1/30s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Hi Jim, at least I got part of right, 61mm. Thats an amazing job Photoshop did to stitch them.

I know the arch well enough I should have spotted the change in shape of the arch itself. I guess I just assume it was impossible and tried to give another explanation.



Nov 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
 

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Mister Bean
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A different view of Mesa Arch


I kind of like this one by itself.








Nov 09, 2012 at 11:10 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Like the compo and different take. Ought to be sharper and have less noise. Hard to do with such a great exposure range. Have to probably be done with HDR to do it properly.

Perhaps for a less muted version, (exaggerated here to illustrate), hit it with USM at 16, 60, 0 two or three times to increase the mid-tone contrast, bump the vibrance and sat, apply some sharpening, burning and vignette, too.







Nov 10, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Wow. Pop. POP. POP


Nov 10, 2012 at 01:09 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Jim,
this is a scene I am not familiar with, and a location I have not seen. And i do not frequent the Landscape forum where I am sure many variations have been presented through the years.
Apart from whether this is the ideal or classic view, this is a powerful, engaging, well-captured and beautiful image. I am not sure how to usefully critique it. I love the layering of silhouetted and distant shapes, the lighting. I like the framing by the arch.
What I am less sure about is the prominent color and visual weight of the top of the arch. I might be tempted to experiment with reducing the saturation on the arch and cropping a bit from the top. Probably not what you had in mind, but I would also consider a BW interpretation since you have a nearly monotonal image then framed with color. Pushing the opposite direction, as Karen has, creates a very different image, its own strong mood and statement. A matter of goal, taste, natural vs vivid, shape and light vs shape, light and color, muted vs Wow.

Scott



Nov 11, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Scott, thanks for the comments.

I am not big on B&W but here it is anyway.







Nov 11, 2012 at 03:43 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A different view of Mesa Arch


A dramatic BW variation, at the expense of some detail.
Maybe a tighter crop left and top would work. Saw what you did cropping your BW but I didnt apply it here in this quick rework.

Scott







Nov 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A different view of Mesa Arch


Thanks Scott. I do like the higher contrast and more black in you conversion.


Nov 13, 2012 at 02:03 AM





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