Hoodoos Aglow: Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Morning Glow 1a-small

Here is another random photo from our recent Utah trip. If you are familiar with the area, then you probably recognize this one right away: Bryce Canyon.

This was taken not long after sunrise, before the clouds rolled in, dimming the glowing effect on my sunset images (see for example, here). There’s no doubt that the low sun of sunrise and sunset provides the absolute best view of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. They add depth the many layers (“amphitheaters”) of hoodoos along the canyon, while setting the rare orange and pink stones awash in translucent color.

For those interested in how I process my images, you might like to know that I used the beta version of Lightroom 5 for this one. (Available here.) My favorite new tool is the radial gradient, which allows you to focus in on one area of the image (much like the gradient tool, but for circular shapes instead of straight lines). In this case, I wanted to guide the eye to texture and glow of the closest rock formations—those in the lower left—as I found that to be the most interesting part of the image. In the original, that area is relatively underexposed compared with the rest of the image. So I used the radial gradient tool to brighten that area and also to increase the clarity. I couldn’t have done this with Lightroom 4. This was my first “experiment” in Lightroom 5, and I have to say I really like it so far. As usual, further editing done in Photoshop Elements.

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