The Rocks Awaken

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Zabriskie Point at sunset and sunrise (as pictured here). I would go far to say that this particular area is an ideal place for any budding landscape shooter to cut their teeth on. It offers so much in terms of studies in shape, shadow, contours, color… you get it.

On this particular morning, I was joined by my bard of merry and frozen over friends, Brian Bonham, Matt Kloskowski, Amy Heiden, and the Burro, Ricardo Lagos. We got to the site about 40 minutes before color started to show. Our early efforts paid off with us having our choice of position – which was a huge boon, especially after being joined by about 15 other photographers.

I love this shot, in particular, because of the varying plays on undulation. You’ve got waving planes, waving striations, and waving shadows. All of that coupled with the gorgeous, warm glow of the rising sun and you’ve got a beautiful depiction of nature.

In terms of processing
Very little needed to be done here. I used Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software to warm up the image and add some texture using custom Color and Tone Enhancers. I also brought out deeper shadows to accentuate the light/shadow play.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3.

  • Vincenzo D C

    Beautiful shot. I really like how you worked the contrast here!

  • Yeesha Paintshop

    Amazing! This is just beautiful! Great light and contrast +Brian Matiash

  • Kim Troutman

    Great tones and shadows. Thank you for the info on how you processed it too.

  • Chris Lazzery

    Sickness. Awesome layers and shadows.

  • Dominique Dubied

    Awesome light +Brian Matiash ! It renders the curves of the rocks so well.

  • Jens Ceder


  • Patricia Davidson

    Awesome image! Love all the shadows and curves. I hope to see this one day!

  • Steve Dormer

    Great lighting and form

  • Mark Esguerra

    Dang, one of the best shots of Zabriskie I've seen! Great shot!

  • Jacob Lucas

    Cool landscape

  • Sherri Young


  • Janine Fugere

    What a truly spectacular image!!!

  • Mark Watson

    Nice image.

  • Dave Wilson

    The lighting in this image is quite superb, Brian. I've only been to Zabriskie Point once and it was also the only time I've had to use a rain cover on my SLR! The weather cleared up later, thank goodness.

  • Boris Manic


  • Juana Reascos


  • faizal baig

    Nice click