I took this photo on day 4 of my trip to American Southwest. I spent the entire day driving around the enormous area of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The Vermilion Cliffs is one of the five giant natural steps of the Grand Staircase. And it is probably my favorite one. I’ve already featured it on my blog (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument) after my last year trip to the Southwest.
When you drive along US Route 89A, for 50-60km you see the Vermilion Cliffs in such a close proximity that you almost can touch them.
Shooting & Processing
This is the pure road trip photograph. As I drove on Route 89A and I saw the amazing colors in front of me, I just stop the car, took a couple of shots and in 5 minutes I was on my way to Horseshoe Bend. I did not see any mindful composition, but all I wanted to capture is the unreal colors and textures of the desert and the cliffs.
I took 3 bracketed shots on a tripod (-1, 0, +1).
The process of editing was very fast and uncomplicated. I used Lightroom Preset Based Workflow where I applied various Lightroom presets to the image and selected the best looking version. I also used Topaz Clarity plugin quite aggressively to emphasize the details and the colors.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70mm
Focal Length: 37mm
Shutter: 1/800 sec
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: Lightroom HDR Preset Based Workflow
Lightroom: import, tagging, preset based processing (Point Lobos preset from Landscape Collection)
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, cleaning and removing distracting elements with the help of the Stamp Tool.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (cliffs, desert).