Sunday, November 21, 2021

Plan A, minus the galaxy

If you've been keeping up with the story in this particular blog, you know to expect some sunset and sunrise photos in Red Rock Coulee. And here they are.

The drive down was uneventful, amid much discussion about current events and Sean's new camera. We had a surprisingly good meal in the motel we were staying in, after a flustered clerk got us checked in. For much of western Canada, when you see a sign that says Western and Eastern cuisine, or variations on that, you expect Chinese food and generic cafe food. It turned out to be mostly Indian food, which Sean and I both like. For $20 we each got a veggie samosa, salad that was more veggie than iceberg lettuce, naan, rice, and a large bowl of lamb korma for me, and I think beef curry for Sean. Delicious!

While I'm on about food, the actual breakfast after sunrise was at Ricki's all day grill, which I'm positive used to be a Denny's. I even think I ate in it once upon a very long time ago. The wait staff were friendly and the food was excellent. Not just excellent for an ex-Denny's, or excellent for a small city diner, but actually excellent. I'd happily eat at either place again if I happened to be passing through.

Which is a possibility. I would still like to get the core rising against a background of the rocks, which is going to require more planning than what we did. Plus a photogenic model willing to pose on rocks, which is strictly a summer time activity. What makes it tricky is the 3.5 hour drive from my house.

Out to the coulee in good time for composition scouting. 

1. This starburst is not a photoshop effect. It's done in camera if you do everything right. I tried it again during a walk yesterday and it didn't work out nearly as well.


3. I've always liked this particular boulder. I can't help but think of of a combination of stone age cargo cult people who where visited by a talkative radio telescope scientist. I was trying to figure out if I could use it in the anticipated galactic core shot.


5. Can you see the rings? Perhaps scientists can count the rings and learn how old the boulder is. This is just one of many boulders with a top suitable for posing a model on.

6. More composition thoughts. You can just see the cloud bank in the background.

7. If you're a sequential order kind of person, skip back to Friday's blog and look at those photos. This is now the next morning after (gag) motel and A&W coffee. The wind! It wasn't particularly cold but the wind was strong enough to think about walking. It would be really easy to twist your ankle and bash your head on the way down. The coulees (there are several) are part of a bigger hill that generally slopes down to the west. Sunrise has to get over the top of the hill to light up the boulders.


9. The sunrise went from nothing to pretty spectacular in no time flat. I dialed in HDR settings and scurried about looking for composition, wasting no time. 


11. Looking mostly west.






17. This is the last of actual sunrise, looking towards the north and west. According to my camera, the nice light lasted from 8:29 to 8:45. As a pro tip, this is why it's important to get to know your camera. The light won't wait while you think about which lens and settings you need to capture your artistic vision. 

18. And boom, the light went flat. I started looking for other things to shoot. Sean was out of sight, doing his thing. I started looking at the combination of rock and vegetation textures.



21. I found Sean, hard at it. He got several nice shots, which you can see here. Oops, not yet. They are on a Facebook photography group page, not his public blog. Though they may show up sooner or later. Check here.


23. Linda thinks this looks like a giant curling rock. 

24. The camera in the wind.


Of the Day

I worked hard on the red peony this year, more to figure out how to capture the colour than actually composing a 'good' shot. For whatever reason the rich dark peony red doesn't get captured well in camera.






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