Fine Art or Snapshot? Sometimes the Difference is Timing

Mesa Arch at Sunrise, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Time of day can be one of the most important factors in determining the success of a photo. Consider the photo of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The photo was taken just after sunrise. The wonderful orange glow is from the sunlight reflecting off of the orange rocks below the arch. The end result is an image that appeals to my desire to use strong forms and colors to create a fine art photograph.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UtahNow consider this photo of the same location. The angle of view is a little different, but the biggest difference is the lighting. This photo was taken in the middle of the afternoon when the face of the arch was fully illuminated by the sun. It’s a “nice” picture, but it sure lacks the impact of the sunrise photo.  It obviously doesn’t have the dramatic color that the arch exhibits at sunrise. The other problem is that the light is very flat and there aren’t many shadows to define the texture. In particular, look at the cliff face and rock formations visible in the distance through the opening of the arch. Without shadows, you can’t see the shapes.

About Craig

I have a passion to create, and I'm fascinated with the tools and technologies of creativity. I strive to produce images that are graphically simple and technically precise in order to render beautiful photographic fine art prints. I work with a variety of digital transformations to create a finished image that reflects my artistic interpretation.
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