Eminent Danger - Zion B&W Series #001

Zion B&W Series #001 by Kenneth Clarke: This view of the Beehives was taken from one of the switchbacks along UT-Route 9 that leads up to the tunnel near the top of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway inside Zion National Park.  To buy a one-of-a-kind original gallery wrap of this picture, go to Ken's Eco-Art Gallery.  This website provides purchase information for various pictures and art pieces I've created over the past few years. 

Ansel Adams, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the Yosemite National Park, is one of my all-time favorite photographers. Following in his tradition, I sometimes find myself trying  to view what a shot will look like in B&W, even before taking the picture. In many photographs, color distracts from the overall effect of the picture; whereas a black and white photo allows one to focus solely on key forms and details that are present within the image. Changing it to black and white tones down the distractions and makes the flowing shapes much more noticeable.
E-IMG_1535_2As you can tell by viewing the original photo on the right, I first cropped the image to help better concentrate one’s focus onto the two mountain peaks. When I captured this shot, I immediately noticed that the cloud formation just above the main peak resembled what looked like an Indian smoke signal rising from the top of the mountain. To further enhance this effect I cheated just a little by making the cloud more ‘wispy’ and then bringing it down to meet with the top edge of the peak.  Finally, converting it to a black and white and enhancing the contrast not only brought out the detail of the rocky cliffs, but also made the cloud look more like smoke.

Smoke Signals
: Many North American Indians communicated via the smoke signal; a kind of Indian telegraphy. Reputedly the location of the smoke along the incline conveyed a meaning. If it came from half way up the hill, this would signify all was well, but from the top of the hill it would signify danger.