Bob Wills  

Navajo Trail by Bob Wills

September 2023 - Navajo Trail

About the Image(s)

I took this in Canyon De Chelly on a tour guided by Navajos. The entire trip took half a day, and we then had lunch under trees in the canyon. A two-week Zane Grey experience. I like the curves even though I must remember that the tracks made by the Ford Broncos we traveled in the canyon, weren't the same as made by Spanish horses the 1840's Navajos rode in this area. Any suggestions are appreciated.

10 comments posted

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Bob. I like the lighting and the colors that you've found in this image. There is a strong contrast between the greens of the foliage and reds of the desert rock and ground. But I don't think there is a strong focus in this composition, and my eye wanders around quite a bit without a clear place to rest. I am also pulled to the cliff on the left because it is large and bright, but I don't think it is really the subject.

To emphasize the jeep paths more, which seems to be your focus from your comments, I would try cropping the left - most or all of the cliff, and then try cropping further from the top and or bottom. I think that tightens in on the curved paths making them more the subject, and simplifies things overall. Again, with beautiful colors and the soft light that bring them out, I think it is worth playing further with the tighter compositions. Sounds like it was a very memorable trip.   Posted: 09/05/2023 07:00:52
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thanks, Robert. Good suggestions as always.   Posted: 09/05/2023 10:29:30

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hi Bob,
Thank you for sharing.
What I like about this image is that the scale of rocks is well presented. I like the tree in the middle isolated. It is outstanding from the srroundings and helps my eyes to rest a bit in the brown world. Also the greens are well positioned aling the trail. Those are well captured.
But still I am not sure what to look. My initial idea was to make luminosity dynamic so it makes more clear what to look and what not to look. My attempt attached here is a bit too obious, sorry, I was too rush to edit this.
  Posted: 09/07/2023 03:10:49
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thank you, Haru. I have discovered some useful gradient tool changes in the new PSCC that can help me isolate areas of the image to guide the viewer's eye. As usual I have struggled with selecting a proper subject.   Posted: 09/07/2023 09:48:53
Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hi Bob,
I think you know what is the subject. No worries. I would try to remember what trigger you to shoot this scene. I guess trails got your attention judging from the title "Navajo trail". So I would edit to make the trails to be center.
That's what Robert is saying in my interpretation.
Too bad but I tried a couple of versions to make trails center of attention, but I could not make it work with my limited edit skill.
So all I did is to ignore all your emotional intention, and made "fake" image to make it pop. Mostly it is for my practice. So naturally it would not be accepted by you, since it does not support your emotional feeling. That's what Dan is saying. Maybe I should not have posted the image. I will just post comment without my attempt going forward. Please take my attempt out from here. It is embarassing.
  Posted: 09/08/2023 07:04:09
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I have taken down your valuable image as requested, Haru. Please remember that this is a study group, not social media. We comment and show a remade version that we think shows a different vision and technique. That is an aid to the creator and our purpose. Nothing to be ashamed of or think the artist will be offended. Please continue to post commented images as we can all learn even when not our own images.
You can repost your edited image if you feel I have made sense. If the EDIT comment box is gone for you, send me the jpeg and I'll add it back.   Posted: 09/08/2023 07:54:18

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hey Bob, for me this is more about vertigo than the Navajo Trail. The Trail (or dirt road, as it appears) is merely there for scale. What works for me is the power behind the depth of your shot. It truly has a vertigo effect. You accomplished this nicely because of it's 3D effect.
Without reading Haru's review, he jacked in a lot of drama. I can agree with what I guess is his thinking where your mid-day capture lacks visual excitement. By highlighting the rock ridge with a heavy vignette, I feel the vertigo experience is lost. So, how do you merge the two concepts?
Anyway, I like how you see. Keep it up.   Posted: 09/07/2023 10:56:53
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thanks, Dan. (I am going to continue this answer in a critique of Roberts image this month. ) I finished reading Zane Grey's "Riders of the Purple Sage" and "Fighting Caravans." that took me away from looking at my lighthouse images and back into my Western images. His writing is speaking to me and you and Robert each referenced Guy Tal this month. I read him a lot in Lenswork, and vision is important but hard to grasp. At 77 and with Parkinson's my balance is betraying me, so vertigo is a good insight.   Posted: 09/07/2023 11:24:08

Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Hi Bob, I really like this image. The way I see it is that in this case the composition as a whole is the focus. A Navajo environment showing the texture of the nature and the mystery of the trail - there for many years first with horses now jeeps… I like the color combination of yellow, oranges, and browns with the green contrast. The light does not help you but that is always the challenge when we visit magnificent spots at the "wrong" time of the day.   Posted: 09/08/2023 15:44:24
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thank you, Gloria. I'm reading Zane Grey novels, and he is remarkably intelligent and ahead of his time in treatment of women for a dime novelist.   Posted: 09/09/2023 08:49:08
Comment Image


Please log in to post a comment