Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Contender Ben Babusis

Multiple photo submissions by American Landscape contest Contender Ben Babusis are tied together by powerful personal memories connected to each scene

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Surreal Sunset

Location: Southern Utah

When did you take this photograph? May 10, 2012

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS lens, Gitzo mountaineer tripod, external shutter release cable.

Describe how you got this photo.
This image was made on a clear spring morning at sunrise along the Wahweap Wash outside of Big Water, in southern Utah.  My day started early at about 3 AM, when I drove to the trailhead, strapped on a headlamp and my gear and began a 4.5 mile trek along the Wash to a collection of hoodoos I had scouted out the evening before.  To my astonishment, I had the entire place to myself on this perfect morning.  There were a number of possibilities in composition here, but the best was the largest hoodoo in front of a dark canyon wall, which highlighted the subject and enhanced the contrast of the scene.  

Did you use any special techniques?
I used an intermediate depth of field, as I had no close foreground objects in this shot.  I used a low ISO, RAW technique, and mirror up shutter release for maximum detail. No filters were necessary.

Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
 What I found most memorable about taking this image is the excitement I experienced on that morning, knowing I was the only person on the planet to witness the sunrise on these amazingly delicate natural rock sculptures that day.  Although I had no one to directly share the experience with at the time, through photography I was able to focus my energy into capturing the moment so that I could share it with many others for years to come.

Do the photos you entered go together to tell a story, or do you think they work best individually? If together, what story about the American Landscape do the photos tell?
The four photos are some of my personal favorites of the American West. They bring back wonderful memories for me, as they are places I have visited often and continue to enjoy going back to. Each time I visit I see something new or in a different light. What unites them for me is the strong emotional reaction that I had to each scene while I was photographing them.  The excitement of viewing something in a way that only few other people have seen, and the fleeting nature of that magic early morning or evening light probably has a lot to do with it.  The images also demonstrate the great variety of spectacular landscapes we have in the west, from the grandeur of Yosemite, to the surrealism of Grand Staircase Escalante, to the serenity of Ansel Adams Wildnerness and to the rugged beauty of the Owens Valley. Subjects like these are a gift to any nature photographer. 


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