At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For February, we chose an image from Death Valley National Park created by Mike Foxworthy. We hope you enjoy Mike’s images as much as we do!
Congratulations to February 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Mike Foxworthy
The Story …
My first impression when I arrived at the Borax Works was that it was going to be a challenge. At first, I was not that impressed, especially when I saw the fence.
I walked around it and started looking at the details. I asked myself, ” How can I shoot something unique?”
I got more into it as I photographed it. I started looking at it in a different way. I noticed the details and the workmanship. Those wheels were built with rivets and without the use of modern tools. I started photographing the textures and I found them so interesting.
I started by photographing the wagon straight on. I found the spokes to be really interesting because it had so many details. The nut was rusty and there was interesting contrast with the wood.
Then I wanted to give it some depth of field and a different look. I thought the wheels were the star of the show. They are the work horses of a wagon. I could imagine them going through the rough roads coming out west.
When you look down the row of wheels, you can see that the wheels aren’t the same size. Some are large, some are small. I found the shot to be challenging because I wanted to show the details in all of the wheels.
I chose to do a focus stack at F11. I created 4 images at F11 and put them together in PhotoShop. I often use this technique for landscapes when I want to capture the details throughout the scene.
I ended up cropping the image and burning a bit on the bottom. The mountains on the right were a bit bright so I burned them as well.
I gave it an Old West flavor by using a profile in the editing process. I kept playing with them until I found one I really liked.
Nikon D850 with a 70-200 mm lens at 70 mm
F11, 1/60 sec, ISO 64, Exp Comp -0.3
About photographing at Death Valley National Park
I loved it. It gives you a variety of photographic subjects. I was glad that Tom revised our schedule to take advantage of the dunes without footsteps after the wind storm.
I enjoyed the sand dunes the most. I loved the textures. I could have shot them all trip long – as long as they were not trampled on.
Mike’s tips for photographing historical structures:
1) I recommend looking at it from afar first and then moving in to see the micro details. Walk around it. Do a 360′ and maybe do it a couple of times. Look at it from different angles. The Union Pacific train gave us an opportunity to shoot through the windows.
2) Just shooting a rivet can be a dramatic shot. You can frame it and put it on the wall.
On Mike’s Horizon
Milan, Venice and Florence in Apri
Olympic National Park
Coming soon: Tom will be presenting online to 800 members of the Maryland Photography Alliance tonight. Maybe we will see you there! Also, this might be a good time to check our listings for 2023 and 2024 as workshops are already filling….
We are both off to Fairbanks for two Northern Lights Workshops. We will be out of the office and checking messages on the road. Hopefully we will get a few magnetic storms to light up the northern skies!
Enjoy your winter and thanks for reading our posts!
Tom and Cree