Photography How-To – Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona with Steve Kossack

Photography How-To – Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona with Steve Kossack



the light is just starting to break on one of the icons of this area this is Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River as far as I know this may be the only place in the country or maybe the world for that matter where this phenomenon actually happens where the river actually makes a Horseshoe Bend it turns from east to west and then flows north and south and then flows out of here the movement here the excitement of being on a 1500 foot cliff or so and seeing this for the first time is absolutely breathtaking the beautiful light on the Vermillion is behind me is about to happen now and what I'm going to do is turn around and I'm going to go get my classic shot I'm going to try to frame the river as it flows with as much of the beach below me and the lip of the cliff which I think is important to have to show depth of this canyon I'm going to try and frame all that in a twenty millimeter lens and get some exposures for it there's really only one frame I'm looking for here I'm going to shoot that one now what I liked captures the iconic image of the beach below me the river flowing below me and if I'm fortunate enough to get something in the sky it's an added bonus but I'll settle for just Horseshoe Bend as the light on the Vermilion x' increases for me it gets a little more spectacular but I can't forget that my focal point stays the same it's the cliffs it's the fall of the river below me 1,500 feet it's the movement from right to left of the river it's the canyon and that's what I need to exposed properly so I'm going to hold back the sky with a three-stop graduated singer a neutral density filter and I'm going to change my exposure a little bit as I run through these frames just so I have a proper or something that I'd really like to see in post-processing of the canyon walls that's going to be the hardest when I get to it to render as I see them with just a little bit of shadow my aperture here is just enough to allow depth of field not forgetting that this little lip in front of me is going to be in the photograph so something around 16 f-16 let the shutter speed go where it wants to match it and we'll do probably thirty exposures from here and we'll take the information back to the desktop and we'll work on it from there oh that's a nice frame as the light drops down now into the plateau it's going to get brighter and brighter so I'm going to increase my exposure and then come up and work it with a higher stop neutral density filter to try and hold back that light while again trying to keep the canyon walls as my 18% gray or somewhere in that zone as many times as I've shot this icon I found that this is the light I like this is the angle I like this is the way I'd like to light to play on my scene so this is actually where we're going to cut it out this is the frame I want

6 Replies to “Photography How-To – Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona with Steve Kossack”

  1. Try to get this shot now, without thousands of Asians in your way. Another place that has turned into a giant toilet.

  2. So if we dont have a ND filter, would exposure bracketing and merging the photos in post processing be a good alternative?

  3. I shot Horseshoe Bend back in December. It is so difficult to work with the images in post-processing because there is such an extreme difference in the lit terrain and the canyon shadows. Also, the rock colours in this area are very difficult to work with (pink/purple hue). If you notice, his final image selection does not have the harsh sunlight line crossing through the canyon. What I am curious about is his comment on trying to shoot the canyon walls at 18% grey. How would you do that?

  4. I saw this video and I knew I had to see this place in person. Was there Sunday morning and it was beautiful.

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