The Sentinel, Bryce Canyon National Park

The Sentinel, Bryce Canyon National Park

While looking through my photos for a separate project this evening I stumbled across this photo, which is one that always catches my eye. So I've finally decided to go ahead and post it. This was taken back in February while shooting around the Southwest with friends Scott, John, and Suad. Our first morning there was at Bryce Canyon National Park - quite possibly the most ideal place in the world to watch the sun rise.

We stayed at the park itself to allow us to be there for sunrise, and in fact began to start shooting about an hour beforehand here at Sunset Point. We shot for a while before sunrise before heading to Inspiration Point for the event itself. On my way back to the valley rim I was struck by way The Sentinel (the tall and narrow hoodoo in the center of the frame) and its adjacent sandstone was starting to really light up. At this point it was still quite dark, but the sky to the west was starting to glow with the impending sunrise. The required exposure was long (30 seconds at ISO250) which allowed quite a lot of movement to be captured in the clouds.

For better or worse, I processed this image twice and blended the two exposures, though a curves adjustment and proper masking could have accomplished the same. The two varied only in their 'exposure' value - one processed slightly above the original setting, and one below (to retain the color in the sky). Hopefully that did more to preserve the image than to detract from it - I'm always a little torn when blending exposures.

If you haven't been to Bryce Canyon NP I very strongly recommend it - it's one of the most amazing landscapes I've ever seen, and an amazing place to be when the sun crosses the horizon on a winter morning.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@32mm | f/8 | 30s | ISO250 | Tripod

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