Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Duddo Stone Circle

Duddo stone circle in a field
Walking to Duddo Stone circle through a vast wind-swept field!
Imagine a stone circle in England that stands on a mound with fields in every direction:  nothing to block the view from this ancient stone circle.  The Duddo Stones form a 5-stone circle that can be walked to over a flat farmer's field.  Near Duddo, UK, this circle is a bit off the beaten path in Northumberland.  A few small signs will point you in the right direction.  A right-of-way path goes through some fields.  After about 1/2 a mile of walking, you'll see this view of the stones with a direct path to them.

The stones are rough with deep creases and irregular shapes.  Some distant fields are yellow with rapeseed.
5 stone circle in Northumberland
All 5 Duddo stones
Duddo stone circle irregular stones
Duddo Stones with deep gouges and lines.
duddo stone circle landscape photography artistic
Duddo Stones in a big universe
And to get the spooky and eerie feeling, I processed this shot in black and white.
duddo stone circle is spooky and cool
Black and White:  Duddo Stone Circle

Skyfall: the place, not the movie

Skyfall panorama with mountains and valley
Skyfall, the place
Skyfall is a catchy name for a James Bond movie.  The actual location Skyfall is near Glencoe, Scotland.  When exploring around I couldn't resist the urge to see this place, so say I'd been to Skyfall myself.

What's there?  Air, mountains, valleys, green growth, big skies.
What's not there?  People, James Bond's home, civilization.

This panorama is at the end of the road (it's a dead end) looking back over the terrain from Kings House to Skyfall.  Deer jump across the roads, clouds pass surprisingly quickly across the sky and times doesn't seem to matter.  I'd recommend a visit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kanab Point for Sunrise over the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon at Kanab Point
Kanab Point at the exact moment of Sunrise
Kanab point has everything I'd want in a Grand Canyon viewpoint.  It's remote.  My family had it all to ourselves.  It's got great views at sunrise and sunset.  It's got towering rock pillars and distant twisted dark canyons.  It overlooks the confluence of two huge canyons:  the Grand Canyon and Kanab Canyon.  You can see all the way down to the water far below.  It's pretty undiscovered as far as photography goes.

After camping there overnight, I got up before sunrise and went to the point looking east.  The sun will rise over Kanab Creek to the east and the main Grand Canyon with the Colorado is slightly to the southeast.  You can include views in any direction except northwest.  It drops off in sheer cliffs in all those directions.

I shot with a variety of lenses to bring some specific things into focus, such as the Golden Rocky Towers with a 70-200 mm lens.  I used the 17 mm tilt-shift lens to make the Kanab Creek panorama.  I also used multiple exposures and HDR processing for the first photo which includes the sun.  I hoped to capture the glorious glow on the towers below Kanab Point and also see the darker depths of Kanab creek and see the sun simultaneously.  I did some manual local adjustments to get things exactly right.
Kanab Point landscape photography
Golden Rocky Towers over the Grand Canyon

Kanab Point view over Kanab Creek
Kanab Creek drainage:  a panoramic photo
Driving to Kanab Point takes patience.  Before you even get on the dirt, you've driven quite a ways from some small towns.  Once you are on the dirt road, you're only halfway.  Although the path is not particularly difficult, the road quality is lacking.  This path goes around every small shrub and tree, sometimes twice around the same bush, or so it seems.  You won't drive straight for more than 2 feet before another turn.  So, it's slow.  Got it?
morning photo of kanab point
Kanab Point:  the view to the west