For two weeks now, I’ve been without my camera. It decided to die on me while traveling in Monument Valley. I took it into Pictureline in Salt Lake City and had them send it into Canon for a repair. Last week, I got some good news about how much it was actually going to cost me to fix my camera, so I will be reunited with it soon. It’s a good thing I have a very giving friend who lent me her camera while I’ve been without mine. It’s actually the same body I used just a year ago; the Canon XS. It is a great camera, but boy, do I miss my full frame.
Being at the Salt Flats last night made me realize why I love photography. The sky put on a light show and I was more than happy to be a part of it. The ‘true’ salt flats were covered with a layer of water, so driving on them was not an option. But a dirt road a few miles west provided some cracking desert floors with clear 360 degree views. It was an amazing night and I took full advantage.
Now, on to some technical talk. The only way I could have gotten these photos in-camera was with the use of my favorite Singh-Ray neutral density (ND) filters. All of the images in this post, except the last one, were captured with two ND filters stacked on top of each other; 3-stop reverse ND, and 2-stop soft step graduated ND filter, with a total of 5 stops to balance out the exposure difference between the foreground and the sky. Without these filters, I would have either a white sky or a dark foreground in every photo. The camera’s sensor has only so much range and needs help holding back brighter areas, in this case, the sky to properly expose the scene. Filters allow the photographer to capture a scene exactly how they saw it. I use my ND filters often and would recommend them to anyone looking to get into landscape photography.