Water Carved, Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park has the full deal for landscape photography — interesting foregrounds in front of incredible backgrounds. Mix those features with the warm light from a rising (or setting) sun, and great results are waiting.

With the extremely warm light hitting the red colored rock, the red channel is the one to watch. Make that channel too bright, and the red details will be lost. Use the RGB histogram to monitor exposure levels, and understanding how far your camera's red channel can be pushed is helpful.

While there were a few lenses in the backpack this morning, the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens was the only one to see use. This lens on the R5 produces outstanding results, and is an ideal choice for landscape photography.

In this camera position, the sunlight angle made own-shadows a bit of a problem. I hid in the shadow of a land formation during the image capture, and the tripod shadow was removed with the healing brush tool in Photoshop.


Among the interesting subjects in Badlands National Park are the shadows created by water erosion channels.

While sunrise and sunset are easily my favorite times to photograph in this park, those times of the day do not provide light on some of the great subjects. A higher sun is necessary to light the depths of the canyon. Higher, though not fully overhead as that light often erases the shadows.

I often talk about wide-angle focal lengths being useful for emphasizing an interesting foreground in front of a vast attractive background, with all details in sharp focus. This scene provided that combination, and the perspective captured by the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens at 15mm was ideal for this photo.

Well, ideal until I decided that more sky might be a nice addition. The clouds were attractive, and it seemed advantageous to sometimes capture a picture of mostly sky to enable stitching later. In the end, the selected to share photo seemed best with the sky image stitched in.

Posted: 9/6/2021 8:28:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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