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Archive 2013 · Varnished Souls
  
 
Ben Horne
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Varnished Souls


I shot this on a multi day backpacking trip on the Colorado Plateau last month. This is an image I almost skipped for fear of two things. First and foremost, this location is very precarious, and I was unsure if I would be able to safely reach it with a heavy pack. Secondly, I was concerned about the hike out of this location in the increasingly hot weather. I didn't want to push my body beyond its limit, so I considered an early morning start of the return hike to avoid hiking at midday. Such an early start would rule out this shot all together.

On the night before my departure, I decided it would be smart to skip this shot but when morning arrived I had a change of heart. I decided to at least hike all the way to the precarious part of the trail and see if it was possible with the pack on. It was a bit of a scramble, but I made it without issue. After shooting this photo, I hiked back to Neon canyon where my campsite was, then packed my gear for the nearly 4 mile return hike to my car. It was a brutal hike with 90lbs of gear on my back, and a 1,000 foot elevation gain. I'm glad I decided to visit the location that morning, otherwise this would have been only a memory.

If you want to see the rest of the story, please view my video journal from this day.

http://youtu.be/nyrx489YuKo

Ebony RW810 | Nikkor 300mm | Fuji Velvia 50 (8x10) | ~12sec @ f/64 | Lee wide angle lens hood








Edited on Jun 25, 2013 at 05:20 PM · View previous versions



Jun 24, 2013 at 07:17 PM
roguecoolman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Varnished Souls


Ben,

90lbs over 4mi! man you must be fit to the bone :P

I think it was a good decision (though painful and laborious) to take the photo. I love the composition and the contrast between the vertical lines and the curvy rocks. very well done.

p.s Love the video diaries. Thankfully the lizard didn't bite you

Jason



Jun 24, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Timmeh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Varnished Souls


Lovely contrasts of shape and texture!

Tim



Jun 24, 2013 at 07:44 PM
dswiger
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Varnished Souls


Like the relationship between the lines & the tones.
I see what you mean by "normal lens" FOV (300 is ~50 in 8x10?)

Dan




Jun 24, 2013 at 08:16 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Varnished Souls


beautiful


Jun 24, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Varnished Souls


The red in the background makes this sweet!


Jun 24, 2013 at 09:41 PM
aFeinberg
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Varnished Souls


Much easier to enjoy this without thinking of that hike Nice shot sir.

aF



Jun 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM
gregfountain
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Varnished Souls


Sweet Ben! Really enjoyed your video(s) as well!


Jun 25, 2013 at 01:26 AM
sachman
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Varnished Souls


Superb shot! Love the colours and how it transitions from the muted greens to the vivid colour in the rock face.


Jun 25, 2013 at 01:45 AM
harshaj1
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Varnished Souls


Worth the effort Ben. Great composition.
Harsha



Jun 25, 2013 at 01:46 AM
 

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bktools
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Varnished Souls


Hi Ben,

Wonderful image with great color, contrast and superb composition, as always from you.

Bob



Jun 25, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Bart Carrig
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Varnished Souls


Ben, we've run into you with your heavy gear a few times -- in the Subway and in the Narrows. As if they aren't challenging enough, you decided Neon: obviously a great choice. Perfect results for your great effort.

I'd call it "Raining Red"

Great eye.

Bart



Jun 25, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Aaron Cowan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Varnished Souls


Ben,

Lovely light and comp. Desert varnish has always been an interesting photo subject to me. Excellent image



Jun 25, 2013 at 03:21 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Varnished Souls


Makes me want to get back there and try this or a similar spot. The "gang" I went with last fall was going to do what I suspect is the same destination (from your 1000' climb comment) but there were "issues" at the last minute and we had a change of plans.

When I do go, I think I'll do it as I planned then - hopefully with about 1/3 of your pack weight!

Dan



Jun 25, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Varnished Souls


roguecoolman wrote:
Ben,

90lbs over 4mi! man you must be fit to the bone :P

I think it was a good decision (though painful and laborious) to take the photo. I love the composition and the contrast between the vertical lines and the curvy rocks. very well done.

p.s Love the video diaries. Thankfully the lizard didn't bite you

Jason


I've developed very strong legs over the past few years from hiking with the weight. My wife and I recently started going to the gym, so it'll be interesting to see how I do on the next backpacking trip. When I saw that scene, I knew it would work well for a photo, it was just a matter of figuring out what time would be best. That's how I find most of my canyon shots -- scout a subject, then come back when the light is good.

Timmeh wrote:
Lovely contrasts of shape and texture!

Tim


Thanks Tim. The rear wall was really cool to see in person. This was only the base of it. It was probably about 100 feet tall in total. Awesome place.


dswiger wrote:
Like the relationship between the lines & the tones.
I see what you mean by "normal lens" FOV (300 is ~50 in 8x10?)

Dan



Yup, the 300mm is much like using a 50mm on a full frame camera. I was able to use a lot of rear movement to keep those lines in the background vertical. Otherwise, they would have all been titled since I was looking down at the large rocks. I find myself drawn to this focal length because it's much easier to scout shots. If something looks interesting with my eyes, I know it will translate well to film.



Jun 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Varnished Souls


All that for 'just a pile of rocks'

I took a quick peak at the shot and was loving it then I began to sweat while reading your narrative of the event, whew!

I'm a sucker for such great color and such bold elements dappled with greenery, they all come together well here Ben for me. A nice play to see the lines running through the bolders almost diagonal in the image then seeing the strong BG verticals. The little tufts of blue and blue green grasses stand out perfectly against the warm hues.

I hope you feel good about the result, that was an enormous effort put forth for this shot.......It 'rocks'

Karl



Jun 26, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Varnished Souls


aFeinberg wrote:
Much easier to enjoy this without thinking of that hike Nice shot sir.

aF



It's definitely quite the hike but I'm already planning my return trip to the region. One of the things I love about that area is that there are so many original shots around each corner. It hasn't been shot to death, and it's fun exploring the area at a leisurely place.



Jun 26, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Varnished Souls


Bart Carrig wrote:
Ben, we've run into you with your heavy gear a few times -- in the Subway and in the Narrows. As if they aren't challenging enough, you decided Neon: obviously a great choice. Perfect results for your great effort.

I'd call it "Raining Red"

Great eye.

Bart


Great to hear from you Bart. It might sound strange, but the gear I lug with me on these trips now just seems normal. I love packing my backpack, lacing up my boots, and hitting the trail. It doesn't get much better than that!



Jun 26, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Varnished Souls


Aaron Cowan wrote:
Ben,

Lovely light and comp. Desert varnish has always been an interesting photo subject to me. Excellent image



Thanks Aaron. One of my first "serious" shots was of desert varnish, so it has always held a special place in my heart. I went to Neon canyon specifically because of the desert varnish, and after exploring some of the side canyons along the Escalante river, I found this area.



Jun 26, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Varnished Souls


gdanmitchell wrote:
Makes me want to get back there and try this or a similar spot. The "gang" I went with last fall was going to do what I suspect is the same destination (from your 1000' climb comment) but there were "issues" at the last minute and we had a change of plans.

When I do go, I think I'll do it as I planned then - hopefully with about 1/3 of your pack weight!

Dan


It would certainly be much more enjoyable with less weight, but at least half the hike is down-hill. :-) That entire region is a photographer's paradise, and it was great to spend several days there. I certainly look forward to a return trip as well -- possibly as early as this fall.



Jun 26, 2013 at 03:21 AM
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