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Each week our editors select outstanding images from the gallery, with tips and critiques from our staff and pro contributors.
Theme Of The Week
Red Rocks

Click here to view previous Lightboxes
Click to learn how they got the shot.

In slot canyons, the light
that streams in...more »
Many readers have viewed
this photograph...more »

This is common portrait of
Delicate Arch. It’s...more »
We would have to guess this
is a sunset photo...more »

What many photographers
don’t realize is that...more »
This is a striking example of
dramatic rock and...more »

The desert Southwest provides some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet, and the red sandstone is what makes much of it possible, though rock can be cast in red tones during the hours of sunset and sunrise regardless of geographic location. Other than peak time, most southwestern red rock needs some color enhancement or intensification to meet most peoples’ expectations, especially if photographed outside of prime sunset/sunrise hours. Today, software allows photographers to alter the hue and saturation, but it’s important to know how to take advantage of this editorial license.

Red rock has the best color when the sun is at or near the horizon and the light has a clear, cloudless shot at the subject. At this time of day, shadows are long, so the more one enhances the red tones in the photography, the longer the shadows should be to retain a realistic overall look. Short shadows and brilliant red rock are out of sorts. Within some reasonable window, photographers have used on-lens filters, and today can also use the tools of an application like Lightroom 2. With this application, it’s possible to make a broad selection from your day’s take and make batch adjustments to any number of images. Such batch adjustments will save time making some base corrections to, say, all of your photographs taken within a time frame where the light is generally consistent.