#1 – Balanced Rock
Another one of my favorite hikes in the Big Bend National Park is the hike up the Grapevine Hills Trail to the Balanced Rock formation. Unlike most national parks, there isn’t a crowd gathering at sunrise to photograph, so, we get to pick our location without having to deal with dozens of people. In addition to the formation, the hike is full of wonderful geological formations created by spheroidal weathering. I highly recommend this hike if you are in the area.
Original Post: December 13, 2015.
Location: Grapevine Hills Trail. This is a fairly easy 2.2-mile round trip that eventually leads to the formation. The last few hundred feet is the most challenging. The rest of the hike is fairly flat.
Camera Settings: Aperture Priority mode, lens at 23mm, f/22, 1/20th of a second, ISO 100. I captured 5-bracketed photos (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2).
Post Processing: I processed the bracketed images in Photomatix and complete the processing in Photoshop.
Comments: I set the aperture to f/22 to make sure that I had good depth of field but also to enhance the starburst effect from the sun. I really like this photograph but if I had to do it all over again I would leave more room on the left and right side of the frame by using a 16mm setting on the lens instead of 23mm.
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