Excellent Photo Adventures…Spirit Of The American Southwest…Day 2

The dramatic clouds and weather of yesterday are now just a memory and this morning we awoke to a crystal clear day with not a cloud in the sky.  Not so great for places like Horseshoe Bend but wonderful for the slot canyons so after taking a walk down to Horseshoe Bend to gaze at it’s magnificence, we headed to breakfast to let the sun get higher in the sky…yes, this is one time that “high noon” on a bright sunny day is one of the better times to photograph.  We spent the midday hours in Lower Antelope Canyon and once again I turned to B&W using NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 to emphasize the graphic patterns and the play of shadow and light without being distracted by the surreal colors…

Nikon D4, AF 16mm 2.8 Fisheye

 

We took a midday break and were refreshed and ready to make the rough ride to Alstrom Point overlooking Lake Powell for the afternoon.  Don’t I wish we had the clouds from yesterday for our Lake Powell shoot.  But, we take what the photo gods give us and I waited until the sun had dropped below the horizon and the twilight blues of approaching evening lit the sky to make a three shot panorama…

Nikon D4, AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

 

By the time we made it back to Page, it was dark enough to make some night shots.  Armed with a spotlight we headed to one of the slot canyons with Lionel, our exceptional Navajo guide.  Now I was glad that we had a clear sky to see the night sky.  We stepped inside the slot canyon, set up our tripods and adjusted our settings to manual exposure, manual focus and high ISO to keep the shutter speed fast enough to prevent the stars from streaking and on the count of three clicked our shutters while Lionel turned the spotlight on for a few brief seconds during the exposure.  The result is awesome with the warm glow of the sandstone and the night sky visible through the opening…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

We then stepped outside the slot canyon and aimed back in composing the image to show the opening in the lower part of the frame and the night sky above.  Once again we clicked our shutters and with a one second flash of the spotlight captured the canyon lit from within and twinkling stars above…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

The D4 handled high ISO with ease and using in camera noise reduction gave me very clean files.  So far I am very pleased with the performance of the Nikon D4.  It handles well, produces beautiful files  at both long exposures and at high ISO settings.  I’m still getting used to all the extra buttons and dials and the new locations of familiar controls that my fingers went to naturally.  I’m sure by the end of these two weeks, it will be second nature again.  Stay tuned.