The American Southwest: Post 4: Morning at Sunrise Point | Jim Kofron Photography | Jim Kofron

The American Southwest: Post 4: Morning at Sunrise Point

On Sunday morning we decided to visit the cathedral of hoodoos at Sunrise Point before sunrise and do a bit of shooting. I personally find sunrise photography to be much more difficult than sunset photography. It's not just dragging yourself out of bed and finding coffee that's the pain—it's setting up somewhere that you're not totally familiar with, figuring out what your subject is going to be, and hoping that the light hits it correctly. And you've got maybe 4-5 minutes of that wonderful soft light as the sun peaks over the horizon. At sunset, you can see your subjects, you can get a bead on the sun's location, and you have time to figure stuff out.

Sunrise Point has tons of things to photograph, but it can be overwhelming if you don't isolate a decent subject. For me, that was an ongoing struggle. For example, 


this is a pretty view, and even might make a decent print, but it's not great. What's going on below the pines?? There should be more pines on the slope to balance things (IMO), but my guess is that there were a bunch of hoodoos lighting up below.

Hoodoo's are pretty, but they get overwhelmed by shadows pretty quickly...

Finally, I got a shot that I'm pretty pleased with, a nice isolation of a rock formation on a hillside. All these are with my 70-200 mm zoom; not a classic focal length for landscape, but for this landscape (and where we were), it was pretty effective. Trust me when I say the 10-20 or 8-16 would have been pretty busy.


Rick and I eventually started to hike down a trail to the canyon floor. Three issues with that: we were dressed for cold weather (it was windy and 40's), once at the bottom we had to hike up, and this was the start of the hiking for me and I was not in shape for it. Photos that I made while going down include:





On this last one I have no idea how I got the crazy blue-black sky. The 10-20 lens sometimes overdoes blue (seems like it self-polarizes), but this is wicked extreme. But very cool. The tree was twisted nearly that badly.

No shots were taken on the way up. Just huffing and puffing. The good news is that I lost around 15 lbs. with all this hiking on the trip!

Copyright 2014, Jim Kofron. All rights reserved.