View Full Version : Morning at Mesa Arch

Don Lacy
11-22-2014, 08:26 PM
I am pretty sure the world does not need another image of Mesa Arch but like most iconic photo subjects there is a reason photographers are drawn to them and feel compelled to make their own images of them, and for Mesa it's about the glow of sunlight upon the underside of the arch as the sun breaks the horizon and ushers in a new day. There are certain images I will never forget that I can still close my eyes and see and feel to this day, and watching and photographing the morning light upon Mesa is now one of them. We had to be on the road at 4am in the hopes of getting a prime spot at the arch as the space is limited. Well it was worth the effort as we were the first ones there and got to pick our spot. Most images you see are from the right but I like the view from the left and was able to place the sun in a strong compositional spot. To say I am happy with this one would be an understatement I hope you like it as well.

This is a two image blend using a luminosity mask I have just started to incorporate luminosity mask into my post processing workflow and I am finding them to be invaluable in helping me achieve my vision. The image was shot with a Canon 6D, 16-35 f/4 lens in manual mode and at f/22 to create the sunburst. I spent about an hour on this one adding tonal contrast, dodging and burning on separate layers, applying curve adjustments with luminosity mask and sharpening on two more layers with mask.

Andrew McLachlan
11-23-2014, 11:33 AM
Hi Don, another killer image! Very nice work with the luminosity masking and well worth the time spent to perfect the overall look and feel. Love the starburst again!

Don Railton
11-23-2014, 11:18 PM
Hi Don

Yet another Wonderful image...! I like how you have layers of rock leading LHS leading to the sun, there is a nice converging perspective there. Good stuff... The blending looks good also, however there is a fine sharpening? halo over the top of the rock. Not sure if the horizon we see is actually an horizon but its slightly low LHS anyway..

hope there is more from this trip..


Diane Miller
11-23-2014, 11:42 PM
Wonderful, and nice to see this from a slightly different viewpoint! (I got up at 4 am to hog the "classic" spot.) The starbursts you're getting are awesome! I have the 16-35 "II" -- need to experiment with it further.

Morkel Erasmus
11-25-2014, 05:05 AM
Lovely classic view here, Don. I too noticed the halos immediately - and it also seems like it could do with some contrast in the midtones?
The starburst from the 16-35 really is sweet!

Don Lacy
11-25-2014, 07:39 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments my eyes are getting old I missed the halos. I think the issue is I am sharpening the image at 1600 pixels for 500 pk and resizing to 1200 using Bi Cubic sharper which is over sharpening the image and inducing the halos. I checked my post of 500 pk and do not see the halo https://500px.com/photo/90463947/mesa-arch-sunburst-by-don-lacy?from=user_library

11-26-2014, 10:35 PM
Excellent, Don.
The sunburst is really well done.
You did the Icon proud......

Mike Landwehr
11-28-2014, 05:16 PM
I never tire of Mesa Arch images. And this is a beauty. Very nice post-processing. I especially like all the detail in the foreground.

Dvir Barkay
11-29-2014, 09:42 PM
Really nice, prefer this to the newer one that I saw before. Agree about the halos that you fixed in the new one, but the compo and colors are nicer here. Well done.