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How To Create a Dramatic Black and White Photo

Stars fill the night sky as moonlight lights up the top of Coyote Gulch in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah (Mike Cavaroc)
A black and white photo of moonlight lighting up a section of Coyote Gulch in southern Utah.

Finding a good black and white photo isn’t always as easy as many people might think at first. The most important thing to remember is that color photos will always convert to a better black and white image than a photo shot as a black and white in the camera. Why is that? Because the camera is simply making an arbitrary conversion and once it’s saved, that’s what you get. On the other hand, if you start with a color image and proceed to make the black and white conversion in a program such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, you have full control over the intensity of each color. Using these tools you can decide if you want an intense, bold look, much like Ansel Adams, or scale it all back for a more subtle and softer tonal shift. - Continue reading

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10042901

Freeing Up Your Mind Through Solo Travel

A small waterfall pours over an eroded ledge in Coyote Gulch in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah (Mike Cavaroc)
Small Waterfall and Cottonwood Trees in Coyote Gulch, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

During the course of my trip, I had plenty of time to myself which, looking back in hindsight, isn’t something I’m particularly used to. In most of my earlier life I yearned for the company of others. Before moving to Jackson Hole I was living with my girlfriend at the time. Currently, even if it’s just a few, I interact with people on a daily basis. Even if I’m working at the computer, I still occasionally connect with other people via email, Twitter and Facebook. While it’s great to have camaraderie among friends and family, whether in person or digitally, we’re still inundated with other peoples’ thoughts, even if we share our own opinion of them in agreement of disagreement.

On my recent road trip, spending roughly two weeks by myself in the southern Utah desert, I noticed that I seemed to have a better flow of thoughts, ideas or personal revelations that I was greatly inspired to write down. - Continue reading

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10042601

Coyote Gulch in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

A large, eroded overhang stretches out over Coyote Gulch in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. (Mike Cavaroc)
A massive eroded overhang covers part of Coyote Gulch in southern Utah

I didn’t have many plans or destination on my road trip, but one thing I was determined to do was backpack into Coyote Gulch, even if only for a night. I had seen a few photos and knew I had to get back there. On my way down to Phoenix, I missed my opportunity due to a big storm that had come through and threw off my chance to get there at that time. On my way back, yet another storm had come through, but I had luckily gotten trapped in the area because of that very weather system. The next day I headed out there after checking with the Visitor’s Center in Escalante, Utah about the road conditions.

One way into Coyote Gulch is to backpack in from the Hurricane Wash Trailhead in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. - Continue reading

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