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Radeka Photography


Sunrise, Angel Arch

Sunrise, Angel Arch, 1985. Canyonlands National Park, Utah


I first photographed Angel Arch in 1975, obtaining a similar negative to the one used to make this final print. That early negative, however, had some major flaws including a few very large dust spots in the smooth sky area. It took ten years and repeated visits to the same location before I was finally able to reshoot this image successfully in 1985. The window of opportunity for this shot is about 45 seconds, after which the early morning sunlight begins to spill onto the rim at the base of the arch, detracting from the clean, hard shadowed cliff edge. The newer negative is better in many ways and makes a very clear, vibrant print. I used a deep yellow-orange Wratten gelatin filter (#16) in order to enhance the dramatic separation between the warm-colored, sunlit arch and the deep blue sky. The negative was given normal development and prints well on a strong grade 2 paper. In the past I have used Oriental Paper toned in selenium to achieve beautiful, brilliant prints. Recently I have used Forte Polygrade paper but unfortunately Forte is no longer available. The foreground shadowed cliff is dodged to reveal ample detail, followed by a localized SCIM (shadow contrast increase mask) to bring life to the shadowed cliff by enhancing the local contrast in that area. I like this image because of the simplicity and boldness of form. In recent years the long jeep road which leads to the trailhead to Angel Arch has been closed, necessitating a two day backpack hike instead.


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Toned Silver Gelatin
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