Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors

I mentioned last week that rocks that resembled animal skulls were a theme this year and this week I’m sharing the other example.  This week’s Picture of the Week features a rock my friend Mark and I refer to as simply the “bird skull rock” – hopefully for obvious reasons.  None of these structures have formal names because they reside in a part of the park that is largely unvisited. 

The rock itself is pretty massive.  I could (and did) stretch out in the right-most hole that forms what appears to the eye socket, to give a sense of scale (not pictured).  For the lighting, Mark and I experimented with several different positions for the lights and I ended up preferring light coming in from left, as well as small tea lights that we put in the “eyes”.  It typically takes quite while to get all this sorted out, but to me, this is what makes these things fun.  We have to shoot these in a series and then put it all together afterwards, so you’re never 100% sure what it will look like until after the fact.

This year I did several compositions where the Milky Way wasn’t featured from one end of the sky to the other.  I usually look for scenes that offer that view, but to change things up a bit, I just looked for scenes I liked, and then tried to incorporate the sky in however I could, but still telling the foreground story I really liked.

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

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