Michael Hrankowski  


VIEW FROM THE WEST RIM TRAIL IN ZION by Michael Hrankowski

June 2021 - VIEW FROM THE WEST RIM TRAIL IN ZION

About the Image(s)

This image was taken during our recent trip to Zion National Park. We took the West Rim Trail to the base of Angel's Landing with the intention of going to the top. When we got there, it was insanely crowded. There were literally hundreds of people crawling over one another trying to go up and down a trail that is one-person wide with steep drop-offs on either side. We gave up on that idea and continued up the Rim Trail. We were rewarded with solitude and beautiful vistas. Most of the sandstone in the park is a deep red color. But here, the cliffs were a medium beige with the most amazing texture - it begged for a monochrome rendition. Minor edits in Lr and finished off in Silver Efex Pro. Camera settings as follows:
Sony 18-135mm @ 53mm (79.5mm equiv)
1/200 sec @ f/16
ISO 200


11 comments posted




Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
I applaud your instincts, those wavy horizontals hold my attention but more so because of the diagonal cut across them. The right half of the wall seems to me to have clear depth because of the lighter surface in the center of the image. From the shadows of the trees, I am assuming that the sun if overhead and that the light on the wall is because that is the least vertical in the image.

To my eyes, the front row of trees are a bit of a distraction in that they are not as well contrasted against their background as is the back row of trees against the stone wall. I would suggest that cropping them might bring forward the stronger features even more.   Posted: 06/03/2021 20:37:53
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Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Gerard, thanks for the suggestion on the crop - I do think I like that better. You have a keen eye and I appreciate your comments!   Posted: 06/03/2021 21:25:32



Peter Elliston   Peter Elliston
Michael, this is a great shot of the textures of this rugged landscape. You did well also to avoid the mad clamber to the top if the path was so perilous! This is an image which is difficult to suggest improvements to as it conveys the scene perfectly well but I agree with Gerard's suggestion about a higher crop. The only other thing I would suggest and it may be a bit mad is that for me that lone tree growing in the middle of the cut is a fascinating focus point. I wonder if there is an image there of just that growing valiantly in the rock face?
  Posted: 06/05/2021 03:21:39
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Good eye for honing in on that tree up there! I might be able to crop in, but not sure my APSC sensor has high enough resolution to manage a decent image. The trees in Zion and Bryce were fascinating to me and I have several other images where I did just as you suggested and I like the results. Thanks for your comments.   Posted: 06/08/2021 00:46:25
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Peter, I went back to check my Lr images and realized I actually had taken a telephoto shot of that very tree. Even with the longer lens, I had to crop in pretty far. I played around with the image in Silver Efex for almost an hour, but I couldn't get the tonality, contrast, structure and brightness balanced in such a way that the eye went to the tree. I think, in this instance, the color image works better. What do you think?   Posted: 06/10/2021 11:39:53
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Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Michael,
Nice black and white image. After Gerard's crop suggestion, the foreground trees lead my eye up the mountain. You managed to capture great texture and lines. I would try to increase contrast on the right side of the mountain to enhance the texture a little more. I see you have the Nik Collection. You can use control points to add more contrast where needed.   Posted: 06/05/2021 10:36:09
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Barbara, thank you for your comments. The entire mountainside was of pretty much uniform tonality. I did use control points to lower the brightness and increase the contrast and structure of the left side. I thought about doing that to the right side, but then I would have lost the differentiation between the two sides.   Posted: 06/08/2021 00:51:38
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Barbara, thank you for your comments. The entire mountainside was of pretty much uniform tonality. I did use control points to lower the brightness and increase the contrast and structure of the left side. I thought about doing that to the right side, but then I would have lost the differentiation between the two sides.   Posted: 06/08/2021 15:10:49



Leanne Moore
Hi Michael,
Lovely monochrome image with texture and lines. The diagonal line just leads my eye straight up the mountain.
I agree with Gerard to crop out the foreground trees. I too have Peter's vision to concentrate on the little tree with all the texture behind it. As did you I see.
Both images are perfect for monochrome.
  Posted: 06/11/2021 23:21:08



LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
(Groups 3 & 62)
Hello Michael,

This photo is an engaging capture of the west rim of Bryce Canyon. Bryce is one of my favorite travel destinations because of the beautiful scenery; it is indeed breathtaking.

I agree with Gerard and his suggestion for a new crop. A simple grouping of pine trees, free of distractions and unnecessary branches, gives the image a clean sightline for the viewer in the foreground. The trees also contribute to the proportion and scale of the rugged landscape. As others have noted, there are many details in the rock formation, all contributing to a successful image with good potential.

I also like the miniature tree version you did in color. I believe there is a good chance you could make a wonderful black and white photograph if you go back to the original raw file. I suggest using selective dodging and burning on the rocks and a subtle vignette around the edges (as needed; a vignette that is felt but not seen is vital) that guides the viewer's eye to the tree. Right now, the luminosity levels of the overall image are too bright.

I hope this helps, and thanks for sharing this photo from your travels!

Best regards,

LuAnn Thatcher   Posted: 06/12/2021 12:00:30
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Thanks for your comments and also for the YouTube info on Yuri you sent via email. Definitely going to check him out. Regarding the mono conversion for the "little tree" - as noted in my reply to Peter, I worked on it in Silver Efex for over an hour and just couldn't get the tree to stand out sufficiently. Maybe Yuri will have some pointers for me.   Posted: 06/13/2021 12:32:09



 

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