San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer
I was just doing a winter checkup of my computer hardware to be sure none of my archived drives are failing when I found these images I shot about 10 years ago while visiting Death Valley. Some of my favorite nature photos I’ve done, they come with a great story!
A couple friends and I needed a break from the rigors of our photography classes and just wanted to get outside and shoot for fun. We had assignment after boring photo assignment so the idea of shooting for ourselves seemed great. Problem is, we didn’t check the weather report! While rain and clouds can make most locations more interesting, a flat gray sky is terrible for desert photos! We were up at 5am to hike into the dunes for sunrise but when the sun came up we had directionless flat lighting that was totally boring because of the thick overcast. I remembered an experiment I ran with making super high contrast film negatives a couple years before so I found the right scene, tweaked my camera settings and went on shooting. We enjoyed the rest of our time out there and I didn’t really think much of what I’d shot as the conditions were just so terrible.
When I got back to the wet lab I processed to give a huge jump in contrast then scanned the negatives. Even looking at the negatives on the light table I was pretty underwhelmed. A friend showed me a technique of layering scans to create even more contrast in an image and when I put it all together it looks like an interesting day in the desert when the reality was that I was lucky to get even one usable image!
Even before the days of digital we tweaked our images to get the best results no matter what the photographic conditions. Funny, because that’s pretty much what I do every weekend these days!