Votes 2
Rex Jones's picture

Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock is one of the several truly unique features to be found in the Valley of Fire State Park. The nice thing about this one is the fact that it really is only a short hike from the road to get to!

Believe it or not, this shot actually was not an easy one to capture. There's a road just barely hidden by the rocks just behind the elephant feature, that was hard enough trying to find the right vantage point where I could frame the subject without including the road.

Then there's the added difficulty of positioning so the elephant feature itself still looks like an elephant. Too much to either side and the rock stopped looking like an elephant. And finally there's the part of trying to have the feature stand out on it's own amidst a field of red sandstone. That's where the choice of opening up the aperture came in, to blur the background just enough so the elephant stands out ever so slightly.

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Michael Einspahr's picture

Looks like an elephant to me. Nicely done. Please post camera settings. An even narrower DOF might have been useful.

Rex Jones's picture

I forgot to post the camera info! Sorry, fixed it. :) I agree with you, this really would have benefitted from a narrower DOF, but I was maxed out for this round, guess I get to go shoot it again! :)

Michael Einspahr's picture

Tricky combination of factors. Not sure what lens you were using. But most of my lens are maxed out at f2.8 as well. (I have one f1.2 lens) I use this for as ifs and planning .... and an unrelated iPhone DOF calculator when traveling. The size and distance of object and road behind all add difficulties that you must consider. I checked DOF for 50mm and 100mm lenses at f2.8 and played with distance from object to see what might be possible. If you plan a trip back you might want to play with DOF calculator in advance. I find that stoping lens down and checking DOF on camera is helpful but that calculators help me plan ahead. I have been back to Arches park in Utah (from Atlanta) several times and still haven't achieved my goals. I like your " guess I get to go shoot it again!" comment.

Rex Jones's picture

That is some fantastic advice! Thank you sir! I was working with the 70-200 on this one, I'm thinking I could probably try it again with the 85 for more DOF. You can bet that I'll be checking out those DOF calculators right now!

Oh, and if you end up planning a trip out here again, let me know, we'll go shoot!!