Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mesquite Dunes


Where to start … the grand vista?, shapes?, colors?, details?, shadows? … too many choices!!!  As soon as I walked into Mesquite Dunes, my eyes and mind shot around in every direction.  There were just too many opportunities and a very narrow window to capture the light of the setting sun.  I quickly dropped behind our workshop group as I saw one thing after another.  I went after it all!  When I reviewed my images, I was pretty disappointed.  I ended up with a lot of “snapshots”.  Lesson learned here … don’t be greedy, let the image come to me.  Be patient, let my eyes and mind wander … the image will come.

This was one of the few images that did “call out”  I saw it in the distance and walked around several minutes before I found a perspective that “clicked” for me.  The curve shadow and bright highlights on the ridge separated the dune from the distant mountains.


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A Different Perspective


This is a different perspective of the curved road in my prior two posts.  Once I see something that catches my eye, I tend to focus on that element from different perspectives.  This image is a horizontal pan of the bending curve.  I tried “S”-swipes, “C”-swipes. and horizontal pans.  A gentle horizontal pan gave me the balance between blur and detail that I was looking for.  The image was processed in NIK Silver Efex Pro.  I focused on highlighting the shadows and the shape of the curve.  I chose sepia toning with a soft blurred white vignette to represent the feeling of the image in its natural tone. It is no longer an image of the landscape, but an abstract of shadows and curves.

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Let the Image Come to You

130313_20 MuleTeamCanyon_BWIt was mid-morning following a great shoot at Zabriskie Point.  The landscape was filled with harsh shadows, bright surfaces, and subdued colors.  Nothing caught my eye.  I was about ready to walk around and look for some interesting view.  Then right in front of me was this graceful “S-curve”.  Two of our workshop leaders (Chuck Kimmerle and John Barclay) had previously emphasized the point not to force an image … but let the image come to you.  In this case, a little patience payed off as this image engulfed my focus.  Once seen, several other opportunities arose … to be continued in future blogs.

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Zabriskie Point

130310_ZabriskiePt_BW by Karl G. Graf.

Zabriskie Point radiated brilliantly as the sun hit the point.  It lasted for just seconds before the rock features became washed out and the point became flat against the background.  The basin below in shadows is Death Valley.

In the B&W conversion, I focused on separating the different tonalities in the face of Zabriskie while keeping it’s brightness separated from the valley and mountains in the background.

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Sunrise at Saltwater Flats


130308_DV_Saltwater Flats Sunrise

This is my first post since Apple stopped their web hosting last June. Thanks to Hans Scheunemann for prodding me to continue my photographic adventures. I met Hans on a trip up Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii 2 years ago. Since then we have been periodically keeping in touch on our photographic adventures.

This image is taken on the saltwater flats of Death Valley between Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. I recently took a great photo workshop with John Barclay (, Dan Sniffen (http://www.dansniffenphoto,com), and Chuck Kimmerle ( in Death Valley, CA. The workshop focus was on black and white photography. As you can tell from this first image, I am not quite seeing in B&W yet. More to come later.

Over the next several weeks I will be adding content and revising the content of this website.  Have patience and have a laugh or two as I play around to build this site.  And again, thanks Hans for checking up on what I have been doing.

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