Devils Backbone – Justin Gazlay   4 comments

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Devils Backbone - Justin Gazlay

Devils Backbone – Justin Gazlay

Checkout Justin’s blog –, google+ –, and facebook –

A few of my favourite photos from Justin’s blog:

Monhegan Island Sunset Backcountry Road at Sunset Stumped at Brainard Lake

Enter Justin

Hello, my name is Justin. I am an amateur photographer. I have been taking photos for the last 3 years or so. I was a film major in College. This gave me a basic understanding of how the camera works and how to achieve certain varying depth of field and exposures.

About 3 years ago I stumbled upon Trey Ratcliff’s blog. I was so amazed at what could be created through the HDR process and immediately had to try it our for myself.

I had basically no success with it when I started as my results looked very strange and awful. So I continued to take bracket shot of scenes with a high dynamic range but I didn’t start to figure out how to process them with success until about 1 year ago.

Of course not all of my photos are HDR, as many scenes have a low dynamic range, but a majority of them are. I really prefer to shoot landscapes and nature. Really the only portraits I do are of my family.

I took this photo last Thanksgiving near my parents house. We were staying there for the holiday and my brother-in-law wanted to go for a hike early Thanksgiving morning. I somewhat begrudgingly agreed (who wants to get up early on a holiday?). We went up to this jagged rock formation right along the foothills that is called the Devil’s Backbone. Once I was there I was very glad I agreed as the clouds were making some really interesting shapes. I took this from one of the highest points along the trailing, looking back at the Devil’s Backbone. In order to get all the detail in the rocks and the brightly illuminated clouds I bracketed the shot with 3 exposures at -2, 0, +2.

For my bracketed shots I combine them first in Photomatix. I then bring the tonemapped version from Photomatix into Photoshop along with all of the originals. In Photoshop I use layers and masks to blend different parts of the originals into the Photomatix version.

After I combined these in Photomatix and then Photoshop I realized that I found the lines in the rocks, foothills and clouds the most interesting part of the photo. I decided on a black and white treatment to help really focus on this aspect of the photo. I performed the black and white conversion in Lightroom.

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm
Settings: 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

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4 responses to Devils Backbone – Justin Gazlay

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  1. Pingback: THIS WEEK ON PHOTOBOTOS.COM: 2013-08-10 | The Chronicles of Johanan Rakkav

  2. Nice catch — great less-expected perspective.

  3. Excellent technique.

  4. Quite a rough and harsh landscape. One that I’d like to explore.

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