The Seam

(clicking on the image may not give you a larger view depending on your resolution, but it will frame it in a lightbox nicely)

Traveling is harder for me than it used to be. I still hated being gone for weeks at a time from my wife, but now that we have a little girl…it’s a lot harder. We use FaceTime on the iPhone all the time now when I travel and while it makes things easier…it also kind of makes it more difficult to see those faces and not be close to them.

I used to just sit in my hotel room and veg out on these work trips, but lately I’ve tried to pass the time I’m away by exploring the places I’m staying. These days that is mostly Las Vegas.  I’ll get done working around 4-5pm and hit the pavement with the rental car to find something interesting out there. Last week it was Red Rock Canyon and the town of Nelson…both areas within about 45 minutes or less of Las Vegas.

The image above was taken in Red Rock Canyon, simply a beautiful place to explore. There is a nice road looping through the area with cool stops along the way…plus vistas that are definitely unique to this park. The photo may be a bit deceiving in a way because the red area up top isn’t really part of the foreground formation, but belongs to a  larger hill behind it.

I did something I don’t usually do with this photo…because of the wide angle and the closeness I have with the ground right in front of me…I shot two sets of brackets in live view. The first set I focused on the rocks in the background to get them crisp, and then I focused the next set on the foreground right in front of me. I then tonemapped both sets of exposures and blended them later in Photoshop before stylizing.

In hindsight, I have no idea why I wasn’t maxed at f/22 on this shot for this very reason…but that is likely one of those moments where one cannot recollect what your mind was thinking at the time *grin*

On a side note, my buddy Brian Matiash has been posting some of his own awesome shots of Red Rock and here is his similar entry from last week. I love the different looks he gives you with each of his shots from this area.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, iso 100, f/16)

  • Justin

    I love that faint mountain in the distance. Puts things in perspective.

  • Chris Nitz

    I still have to learn how to blend two images together to get focus throughout the frame. I really like all the small textures throughout this scene. I must also admit, I hate travel times away from the wife, I can only imagine how that time will be much harder with a little one. Great post today Mike!

  • Brian Matiash

    Excellent use of focus stacking with HDR, dude. It really shows and paid off with dividends. I’ll have to remember that.

  • James Brandon

    nice dude! i hear ya on being away from family, it’s so hard. i try to bring them along any time I can but it’s not always possible. great image as usual 🙂

  • Heath O’Fee

    This is really great, Mike. Love the texture in those rocks, and the composition is spot on.

  • Jesse

    One of my favorite Red Rocks shots to date. Such a fantastic composition.

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Great tip Mike and beautiful job! That was a cool place to visit… I wasn’t going to go because of the crummy weather, but figured that I would regret it if I didn’t… Those rock formations are sick! I wish I had more time to explore…

  • Chris Kenison

    Awesome composition, Mike.

  • Heather

    This is great! I can’t tell you how many times I have taken pictures like this and just ended up deleting them, they frustrate me so! Glad to see they hold some possibility!

  • Steve Beal

    That’s really a creative approach, the results are outstanding! Love the dark red cap on those mountains.

  • Ryan Sexton

    The multiple focal point was a great idea This looks incredible!

  • Scott Frederick

    That’s a very creative way to keep everything in sharp focus. F/22 likely wouldn’t of given you better results as detail
    would of been lost. Your such a SmartyPants! 🙂

    Beautiful image Mike. Wishing you safe travels.