True, for the most part, I had set my camera on a tripod and had only changed the shot by zooming in and out, between 10mm and 20mm. There's not a lot of room for creativity there.
But for each composition that I made, as the sun headed for the horizon, I captured five shots, bracketed, with EVs at +2, +1, 0, –1, and –2. With those five shots, I produced a single image.
In post production, I didn't merge all five photos with all of the images that I produced. Sometimes, I used only three or four shots; other times, I used only one. I have them saved to a repository, but I doubt that they will ever see the light of day again. After all, Horseshoe Bend is only one subject, where the only changes come with the waxing and waning light.
I posted a couple of the photos, last month, for another Photo Friday. A friend of mine, Cesar, liked the photos and generously printed an 8x10 and a 13x19 sheet for me. One proudly hangs over my desk, at work; the other is waiting for me to find a suitable frame so that I can hang it in a prominent spot at home.
The other image that I showed for that blog post, while it captured the setting sunlight reflecting nicely off the gathering clouds, seemed too dark for my liking. Here's that shot:
Ever since I posted that image, I couldn't help but think that I can do a better job at processing the shot, and so I went back to the RAW files and re-edited them.
For the "original" photo, I used four of the five frames, leaving off the darkest of the shots out. I figured that with it, the overall result would be way too dark to be usable. It was a shame to exclude it from the final image, as it had the most colour in the sky.
For the reboot, I decided to use that dark frame, and this time I only merged it with the photo that was shot at a +1 EV. Here's the resulting image:
What do you think? Which one do you prefer?
A little exaggerated, I admit, but the Horseshoe Bend was mind-blowingly larger than life, and this is closer to how I remember seeing it.