View Full Version : Arches N.P., Fiery Furnace at sunset

Fred J. Lord
01-02-2008, 12:01 PM
Hello everyone: It's a great pleasure to be among such talented image makers.
This was shot on November 1st in Arches N.P. It is stitched from five images shot with the Canon 1D Mark III using the 24-70 @ 43mm. The sky has been altered by the addition of clouds. Otherwise, there are no alterations to the image. This was actually the right hand side of a ten-frame series. It was shot from the Fiery Furnace overlook. The Monte le Sal mountains are in the distance with Balanced Rock just over the horizon to the right. We had a great time waiting for the light. A healthy and beautiful Gray Fox appeared in the ravine below and kindly kept us company for a bit of our wait. This was our first sighting of this particular animal and we were duly impressed with it.

David Kennedy
01-02-2008, 01:10 PM
Welcome, Fred!

What I am noticing with this image is that the right half of the image is more interesting to me than the left--the fiery furnace. I would crop in from the left about one full third of the width of the image. This will have the added benefit of bringing you closer to an 8:3 ratio (width:height), which is a guideline I try to use with with my image making--not that I always adhere to it.

I do wonder about the "addition of clouds." Were they imported from a single image, or did you make a similar, multi-image stitch panorama with clouds, and copy and paste? The reason I ask is that at a size for web viewing, it won't make much difference, but if you were to print this, the image degradation from a single photo of clouds being stretched to fit to the frame of the image would be very noticeable and detract from the rest of the landscape.

Jason Hahn
01-02-2008, 02:02 PM
Beautiful scene, that warm light on the rocks on the left really makes them strand out. The scene has a great sense of depth and vastness.

I think that there are some cropping options such as David mentioned that may strengthen it a bit . For example I think with those rocks being so dominant in the foreground they tend to stop your eye right there instead of allowing your eye to travel into the scene. Maybe consider a slight crop to the left of the shadow that angles up wards across the rock face to see if it strengthens the composition. With that crop the sloping curve of the rocks leads you into the scene more, but still plays an important focal point within the image. Thanks for disclosing the addition of the clouds to the sky. I am normally not a fan of adding elements to an image after the fact, just a personal preference, so I would love to see the original without the alteration. Great first post, look forward to seeing more!


Robert Amoruso
01-02-2008, 02:53 PM
I would have to agree with Jason and David, the bright rock face's dominance catches the eye and holds it. I like the depth of the image and vastness. The right portion of the frame is one image and the left, the furnace, is another to me. Technique looks good and stitching AOK. Looking forward to seeing more.

Fred J. Lord
01-03-2008, 06:09 PM
The difficulty here is showing a large image on the net in a small and lossy format. When the image is viewed as a large print, the detail in the rocks at left is fascinating to me and everyone else I have shown or sold it to. I hadn't even considered that there might be too much visual dominance in the bright rocks until all of you mentioned it. That's why it's great to have this group as a resource for such things.

As far as the inserted clouds, the only test is this: would you have known they were inserted if I hadn't stated that they were? If they are noticeably inserted then, of course, the modification is a failure. I am posting the unmodified image here just for a comparison. Please let me know your opinion(s).

Well, I was going to upload it but now I can't get the site to take anything over 800px in size. Should I start a new Panorama spread or is anyone interested in seeing it?

Thanks again and here's hoping I can come up with some more images to show here. I have a Sandhill Crane landing panorama from Bosque del Apache also. The other wonderful images shown here are inspiring me to put it up.


David Kennedy
01-03-2008, 06:29 PM
I'd consider a crop along the lines of this example. It's modest, but I think very effective.

And by all means, please post the version without clouds for comparison.


Fred J. Lord
01-03-2008, 06:51 PM
Hmmm, the other forums were abusing the loophole in size requirements.

David, thank you for the suggestion. I appreciate your help. I will look at this again.

Here is the no-cloud version at 800px. No other differences save image size.


David Kennedy
01-03-2008, 09:23 PM
Thanks for posting the original. I think that the version with clouds is certainly "sexier," but my concern about them remains the same: were the clouds taken from a single image, or from a similar, highly-detailed stitched image? If the answer is the latter, then my concerns can go right out the window :)

Jason Hahn
01-03-2008, 09:45 PM
Personally I like the version without the clouds just fine, thanks for posting it. The other issue with the clouds is from a natural history perspective, are those types of clouds at all likely form and be present in this type of arid climiate? Not sure of the answer myself, but would be curious to find out.


Fred J. Lord
01-04-2008, 05:16 PM
The clouds used were from my collection. I don't remember exactly which one but it was appropriate for the area and was a single image. I haven't felt that clouds need to be needle sharp or particularly high in resolution for insertion. If I am doing high-resolution and highly detailed cloudscapes, that would be a different story for me.


01-04-2008, 06:20 PM
I agree with David's crop suggestion. The rocks have a lot of interest where they cast shadows. With the light straight on, they lose my interest.

For me, your new sky (both color saturation and clouds) definitely improves the image.
However, for my own work, I just can't bring myself to add something that wasn't in the scene.
I know those clear blue Utah skies can be rather frustrating..week after week after week...:)