The trail leading to Balanced Rock in Big Bend National Park, is called Grapevine Hills Trail. It is one of my favorite trails in the park. The trail is fairly simple until you get near the end, as the last quarter-mile requires a bit of boulder hopping. This is also a very popular spot for selfies, but if you go early enough you will have the place to yourself.
I have many photos of balanced rock with clear skies. The forecast called for clouds and I thought I might get lucky this time. I had high hopes of capturing a great sunrise with nice clouds and great color. When I arrived, I realized that the clouds were way too thick to enable the sun to break through. I setup my camera and captured the photos anyway. I was disappointed that there were no sunrise colors and that the scene was rather monochromatic. As a result, I decided that a low-key black and white processing technique would help showcase the cloud formations as well as the rock’s details. It’s the best I could do under the condition. This is a great hike and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the park.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV using my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 Lens set on 16 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/20th of a second and the ISO set at 100. I used a tripod for stability. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and completed in Photoshop using Nik Silver Efex Pro.
You can see my gallery for the West Texas area including Big Bend by clicking here. Please use the section below to post your comments, questions or suggestions.