Friday, February 6, 2015

Powerfully Simple

Sometimes simple is super. Often as photographers we look for the unusual or the extreme. But in this case, a very simple composition and great weather conditions worked well together to create a strong image.

During winter in Monument Valley it is not unusual for the temperatures to drop below freezing overnight, and then warm up to the 40s or 50s during the day. Those extremes can cause ground fog and rising mist to swirl around the buttes. The rising mist created some striking views of the well-known Mittens (the buttes on the left and in the center).

The bright blue cloudless sky enhanced the strength of the fog and mist. Normally ground fog lifts early in the morning as the sun rises and quickly dissipates the moisture. But on this day the conditions persisted until nearly noon, which gave a lot of time to seek out a variety of conditions and light directions. Because of the strong sidelight, the mist looks especially white and slightly backlit on the right side of the image.

I chose a very balanced composition for this shot, placing the Right Mitten in the center of the image. That shows up the ground fog best, as well as the rising mist.

Shutter Speed 1/400 sec.  Aperture f/18.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 17-40mm f/4L set at 19mm. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity."  --Thor Heyerdahl

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