In January, I had two back to back workshops in Death Valley National Park. I enjoyed my time with both groups and each group had different photo opportunities.
The above image is an abstract of a sand dune pattern that I found at Mesquite Dunes inside the park.. I liked the scalloping created by the wind on the sand along with the combination of shaded tones and warm tones.
The top portion of the image is the area that caught my attention initially so I wanted to highlight it in the frame. I decided the image needed a bit of an anchor so I included the bottom area; I was careful to watch all the edges, making sure I had what I wanted in the frame and what I didn’t out of the frame. This is somewhat harder to do hand-held. If I were working on a tripod, careful framing may have been easier but finding the composition would have been more difficult, as I would not have had the freedom of movement to explore all the angles of the composition. (the best of both worlds would be to have the camera off of the tripod-find the composition and then place the camera back on the tripod.)
In hindsight, I should have rotated the image counterclockwise a touch to add a bit more tension. This would have also given me a bit more of the scalloping. Overall, I like the shot and will look to create more of these types of abstract images when I go back to Death Valley in January.
When I was framing it, I was thinking it would make a nice B&W as the shaded area would be darker. I didn’t think about color or how the image would look if I were to juice the colors. It wasn’t until I brought it into Topaz that I saw some potential for a colored abstract. I used Topaz Glow- Fur and Feathers II to create some added lines within the image. Then I brought it into Topaz Impression and added Degas Dancers I. With both I reduced the opacity then tweaked the color further in Nik Color Efex Pro.
If you are interested in seeing more of my creative edits and processing, check out my eBook “The Creative Art of Photography”.