Three Sisters – Superstition Mountains, Arizona – Peter Coskun
If you live in Arizona you are probably spoiled with the number of different rock formations and landscapes you could photograph in a typical weekend. One of those formations is the Three Sisters located in the Superstition Mountains. Peter does an excellent job with the foreground in this image placing us in the Arizona desert. The foreground really give it a sense of place and the wide angle lens allows you to actually feel like you are among the rocks and cactus. So remember when you are taking landscape shots include an interesting foreground along with the landscape to enhance the image. Please read Peter’s story below and then follow him to his portfolio where you will be blown away by his landscape imagery! http://www.flickr.com/photos/76219461@N07/
I had seen images from this location before, and knew the potential for a dramatic photograph. It was early January when I first decided to head out and explore this area. The image was taken within the superstition wilderness in Arizona although not too far from the town of Gold Canyon. There were clouds in the sky that kept breaking up and forming up until sunset. Most of the clouds were moving from side to side but as the slight wind took new direction, the clouds began to float towards the peaks. I had wanted to get a commanding view of these impressive peaks, and one that shows the dominance as well as showing the surrounding landscape. My first thought was to try a near far composition, but it would prove failure as my lens was not wide enough to fit everything I had envisioned into the frame. Instead, I moved further back from the peak, and set up my camera and tripod with a lovely sea of saguaro cacti just below the peaks. A few other cacti added some variety to the scene as it was predominately brushy where I was shooting. I waited for the sun to get below the horizon and hoped the clouds would illuminate with radiant colors. At just the right moment, the clouds lit up and framed the peaks as they hovered above allowing the fiery peaks to stand out just the way I had wanted them to. I’ve returned to this location several times since then and have come away unhappy with the light that was available. I hope to try more compositions here under some other unique lighting conditions in the future. As for the technical side of things, this was shot with a canon 7d and 17-40mmf4L lens. I used a 3 stop and 2 stop soft edge neutral density filter to compensate for the light difference in the sky and landscape. As for processing, I took a few artistic liberties to really bring the drama to the scene. Although the image was already dramatic, I applied a few layer masks to emphasize the light and peaks. No saturation was added to the image, just curves and contrast adjustments at various opacities for more natural seams.
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