If there is a location in outdoor photography that defines a high contrast, tough exposure, it's false kiva.False Kiva is a notoriously tricky spot to shoot, mostly because the foreground is in a dark alcove looking out into a very bright background. Most photos I've seen of this place have been processed in HDR, but I wanted an image that depicted how this place actually looks. It's a dark alcove looking out at a bright sky, and that's what I wanted the image to convey. Luckily the sunset was relatively muted because of the low clouds. I knew when I saw this a photo would be possible. I've made the hike here many times without taking any photos because the light differences were just too much to overcome. For this image I stacked two soft graduated ND filters (2 and 3 stop) to get the right amount of light on the foreground without blowing out the background. After many trips to this superb location I finally had a shot I felt conveyed what it's like to stand here looking out into the red rock canyons.