Inspiration Point Focus, Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

Inspiration Point Focus, Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

This is a shot that I'd had in mind to take, long before I was on the spot ready to shoot. I began shooting large format last summer for a variety of reasons - the primary reason is just for the phenomenal quality of the shots captured, but also because the range of camera movements possible make all kinds of new shots possible as well.

One technique sometimes employed is to provide a large amount of tilt to the lens and thereby change the focal plane to something that only passes through a narrow slice of the image. The resulting effect is to create only a narrow band of sharp focus within the image and throw everything else far out of focus. These are often referred to as tilt-shift miniatures, because it gives the image a resemblance to macro shots of small objects, with their familiar narrow band of focus.

Bryce Canyon National Park seemed like a great place to try this approach, as the perspective is a natural fit, as you're looking subtly downward on the hoodoos, and their is a lot of great detail to isolate. After shooting at Sunset Point before dawn we drove around to Inspiration Point to be there right at the moment the sun crossed the horizon (though it quickly disappeared behind cloud again after that). Among a number of straightforward shots I decided to give this approach a try too, having planned to do it all along, and I'm quite happy with the result.

Note: This was taken on my 4-day run around the American Southwest with friends Suad, John, and Scott. You can see more in our collective photo pool here, and if you join the pool you'll have access to some additional images not seen in our photostreams as well (if you're interested).

Tachihara 4x5 | Caltar II-N 150mm f/5.6 | f/5.6 | 1/60s | Fuji Provia 100F | Tripod

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