Watching Over

The Watchman, watching over his reflection.

The Watchman, watching over his reflection.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in Zion National Park, located in Southern Utah. Photography is my hobby and going to National Parks is where I love to express it.
This was taken in mid-afternoon. It had just rained earlier in the day, which caused puddles all over the park. I was on the look out for good reflections all along the walk back to the visitor center.
Afternoon lighting in Zion NP is wonderful, many of the prominent cliffs and mountains are lit up by the low Westerly Sun.
This was shot on my Nikon D-5500 with an 18-140mm lens. No flash, no tripod, free-hand.
Reflections are one of my favorite types of shots to take. However they tend to be some of the more difficult ones to get. Especially when there isn't a normal body of water near the subject. When I saw this puddle and how it reflected The Watchman, I had to take the shot. I crouched down, and tried a few different angles before I got one with the path and trees framing it perfectly.
I try to get the shots as good in the camera as possible. That being said, I did play with the curves a bit, and some white balance. Because it was free hand it wasn't quite level, which meant some cropping and rotation. I tend to make small adjustments in Lightroom until I get something that I like.
In my camera bag
I used to carry around lots of things, but over time I've streamlined my typical bag into 3 essentials - My Camera Body - Nikon D-5500, the 18-140mm kit lens, and a Tokina 11-16mm. I love the field of view which the Tokina offers, some of my most favorite shots came from it's ultra-wide lens. I have various other pieces of equipment, but when hiking, I like to keep things light and simple. Forcing myself to use those two lenses makes me try and get the most out of my camera and myself. If I'm going somewhere specific I'll take my tripod with me, and if there's a strong chance of seeing wildlife, I'll take my Sigma 150-500mm.
Photographing the National Parks is dead simple, after all, they're protected because they're beautiful. Taking a photo of the National Parks which will stand out takes some patience. Look for different perspectives, look down for puddles and walk around them for reflections. When looking up for stars-capes, try and get a unique foreground. Each park has a different "best time of day", but mostly late afternoon offers the best contrast. Don't be afraid of a clear blue sky though, with the right proportion of sky to subject, you'll get something majestic.

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