Southwest

Raven

The city of Baltimore and the surrounding areas are buzzing with energy as the Ravens get set for battle against the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday.

I decided to get into the mix with a post of a Raven that I photographed a few years back when visiting Bryce National Park with my wife and a couple of our closest friends. For those of you that have never enjoyed seeing a real raven in nature, they don’t resemble a crow at all (although many people think they look alike). Raven’s are extremely smart creatures, they seem to walk with an attitude and are very active and playful … I guess, sort of like this years Baltimore Ravens team. And yes, just like in the image below, they have a beautiful purple shimmer to their feathers that dances with the sunlight.


Raven | © Jay Moore Photography

GO RAVENS …

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Antelope Slot Canyons

The antelope slot canyons is a beautiful place to visit in the Southwest, as your time wandering the small natural pathway through the sandstone is a very calming and spiritual experience. The color in this particular scene is exactly what you’ll see if you visit this special location, as when the sun is high in the sky on a clear day, its rays penetrate through the slots creating beautiful shades of yellows, oranges, reds and purples.

Depending on where you are within the slots will determine how much color from each shade is showcased, such as the image below where I’m somewhat close to the top of the canyons, giving the bright, warm yellows an opportunity to shine.


Antelope Slot Canyons #1663 | © Jay Moore Photography

And for those who’ve never visited the slots, the image below is roughly 20-30 feet from the ground to the top, with the path being just out of frame on the bottom. The image is taken on a full-frame camera at 27mm. I also shot it at f/16 at 1.0 secs, to give it maximum depth of field. As with most all of my photo experiences, my camera was mounted to the top of my really right stuff head and sturdy Gitzo legs.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Continue to check back to see additional highlight images from my slot canyon series …


Antelope Slot Canyon

I bring you the first installment of my series from Antelope Slot Canyon. #1733 is one of my favorite images that I captured during my extended time within the canyon. Does this scene seem familiar? Just take a quick look at my blog header as it’s a slice of this particular image.

This spot is a beautiful place within the Southwest, located just outside of Page, AZ, and is a must stop if you’re visiting that part of the world. The canyons have amazing shapes and forms, with a strong spiritual presence that seems to be filled within the open space between the narrow rock walls. And the true magic begins when the sun is high overhead as the light creates different shades of yellows, oranges, reds and purples that seems to glow around you.

Antelope Slot Canyons #1733 | © Jay Moore Photography

Hiking / Photography Insight: If visiting the slot canyons, there are two different sections, upper and lower. We spent our time in lower because there are less regulations on how long you can spend walking the canyons, as upper is much more popular and you must stay within your group. The lower provides ample scenes for great images, however you will not get the iconic sun rays that come down onto the canyon floor, as those mostly happen in the upper canyon and only during certain months (late spring, summer and early fall). I would suggest using a tripod to help capture greater depth, but make sure you have flexibility with your tripod legs as there are very few typical set-ups within the canyon.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Clearing Storm Over The Mittens

The Southwest is one of the most breathtaking areas of the United States that you can visit. If you’ve never gone and are thinking about it, do it … book your plans now and just go, you’ll not be disappointed in what you see.

And one area to make sure is on your agenda is Monument Valley, as it’s chalk full of exactly what you want to see when visiting this part of the world. The Mittens are one of the main attractions as they’re two large bluffs that are somewhat near each other and look as if they’re a set of mittens. Get there early and/or stay late to see the light and colors change when the sun rises and sets.

Below is an example of some of the drama that can be captured when a storm is clearing …


Clearing Storm Over The Mittens | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Cliffs

When visiting national parks I normally take several of the main trails to the view points or places of interest. And one of my favorite parts of hiking such trails is the journey that takes you to the final destination (in this case a view point). However, some folks don’t soak up this section of the hike, as they basically run up a the trail with their heads down trying to get to the top as fast as they can. My approach is to enjoy the path and the many viewpoints along the accent, so when you get to the main destination you’ve already experienced many beautiful things and inspiring views.

Below is an image of such a hike within Zion National Park. The u-shaped valley is guarded by stunning cliffs that rise thousands of feet straight up from the winding river floor. At the beginning of one of the hikes we took, we had front row seats to some views that showcased these incredible masses of nature.


Cliffs | © Jay Moore Photography

Here’s to enjoying every step along your journey …

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Zion National Park | Sunrise

Zion National Park is a special place and is a location that I highly recommend visiting at least once in your lifetime. The valley walls, which extend thousands of feet straight up have been carved out in part by the Virgin River. The rivers meandering path provides for many great opportunities for grand scenes such as in the image below.

I set up my tripod with one of the legs in the river and made sure to use a somewhat slower shutter speed to create some movement in the water. I used the partially overcast skies, sometimes an issue in landscape photography, to my advantage. The clouds worked sort of like a large soft box in the sky, which created a diffused light and helped open up some of the shadows within the valley floor.


Zion National Park | Sunrise | © Jay Moore Photography

If you’d like to see additional images within my portfolio, click on the this link … Jay Moore Photography Website


Zion National Park at Sunrise

If you’ve never visited Zion National Park, I highly recommend putting it on your short list of places to see. The river made valley floor creates a narrow, winding passage between the massive rock cliffs, creating one dramatic scene after another. Below is an image taken right after sunrise, creating a dramatic look to the sky and cliffs. I converted the final image into a sepia tone, to help match the feeling of the location.


Zion National Park at Sunrise | © Jay Moore Photography


Colorful Mist

The mist of a raging waterfall can sometimes produce an amazing show of colors. If the sun is at a correct angle, its rays break through the droplets of water, creating a dancing flow of color along the waterfalls edge. And since the scene changes constantly, it’s always a fun thing to view and photograph.

Below is one of a series of images I captured at Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park …


Colorful Mist | © Jay Moore Photography


Mittens By Moonlight

As many folks understand in concept, but sometimes not as much within photography … The moon is the sun … In terms of light (I know my wife and my good friends in Oregon just got a small laugh as I’ve made that comment many times when doing night photography). And as I’ve discussed before on my blog, the moon’s albedo (percentage of light reflecting the sun) is roughly 7%, which can be a great light source when photographing at night. In the image below, the light coming from camera left is the rising moon, which helps illuminate the monument valley landscape, while still giving me the opportunity to show the night stars.


Mittens By Moonlight | © Jay Moore Photography

It can be very tricky to use the moons light within landscape photography, but after some practice you can keep snapping the shutter well after the sun goes down … Click on the following link to check out another example of one of my night photography scenes, where I used the full moon to illuminate the landscape …Yosemite Falls By Full Moon


Tree | Zion National Park

Today I bring you another installment from my Tree series … This one is from within Zion National Park. When I came upon this tree growing high up on the peak of the cliff, I got slightly lucky as the clouds, which were changing by the minute the entire day, came together perfectly to help make the tree pop against the dramatic sky. I converted the final image to black and white and then toned it slightly to create a warmer scene, which matched the feeling of the location.


Tree | Zion National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Keep checking back from time to time for additional images from my Tree series …


Zion National Park | Sunrise


Zion National Park | Sunrise | © Jay Moore Photography

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Zion National Park, I suggest staying in a RV and camp within the park, as it gives you the opportunity to capture beautiful landscape images just out your door. Wake before the sun, grab a cup of coffee and head out to see the landscape come alive.

The image above was taken during a short morning stroll through the park, as the sun burst through a bank of clouds and lit up the large rock cliff. I was able to snap off a few frames before the sun fell behind the clouds and the scene was lost … It’s yet another reminder to make sure your camera settings are where you want them (or at least close) prior to heading out on your photo walk.


Cliffs


Cliffs | © Jay Moore Photography

When I was first learning the art of photography I primarily used black and white film, while studying Ansel Adams Zone System, which helped me see and understand why shapes, details, composition and tonal control are all equally important in creating a good photograph. I still capture scenes today I know I’ll convert into black and white in post production, such as in the image above.

The morning light was spectacular as it highlighted the highest cliffs within Zion National Park, while leaving the foreground/lower cliffs in shade. Add in a nice set of clouds over head and the scene shouted to be converted into black and white. I made sure the bright cliffs fell within one of the higher zones (roughly zone 8), which left the shaded cliff registering around zone 2, which is why there is great contrast within the scene.