Ray Mathis

 
 
 

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Ray Mathis

Ray Mathis

McHenry, IL

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Most of the images you see here (at least so far) were done the "old fashioned way" with a 4x5" field camera and by creating color transparencies. I then scanned them at either 1200 or 2400 dpi. Every effort is made to match the original transparency.

That said, there was a time when I developed cataracts, and scanning and preparing images for this website became difficult. Now that I've had surgery and can see clearly again, some of the images seem a bit too saturated in color. That's because cataracts mute colors. It's like looking through window covered with a film of grime and dirt.

The challenge and reward in 4x5" landscape photography is to capture things as they really are, and get the exposure just right. And at over $6 a shot, it pays to be very selective. The images that resulted from using a 4x5 field camera will have a ratio of 4 to 5 in their dimensions (i.e. someone could purchase a 24 x 30 print)

There's an old saying in landscape photography, "f16 and BE THERE". That's still true, except it's usually f45 (and sometimes f 64 or higher) with a 4x5 camera and lenses. It's all about being there at the right time and capturing the right light. Many places in these photos don't look anything like the images below at other times of the day. Nearly every image here was done either before sunrise, or after sunset, or that hour or less of sweet light time after sunrise or just before sunset.

I have three images that have won awards. "Sunset Sandstone" was the Grand Prize Winner in the 2005 National Landscape Conservation System photo contest. "The Surprise" was also the Utah State prize winner for that same contest. "Devil's Bathtub" was the Outdoor Illinois Magazine (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) Grand Prize winner for 2004. Many other images have appeared in calendars, magazine, books and as post cards of Utah and the Southwest.

I've just recently switched to using a Nikon D800, a 36 megapixel camera. It's an amazing camera, and allows you to capture scenes much as they appear to you when you are standing there. Even those with high contrast and a wide range of light between highlights and shadows. It comes about as close to what my eye sees as is technologically possible at this point. And does so much better than I ever could with a 4x5 and filters. Not to mention that I end up with some very big files from which to make prints, and it saves a lot of wear and tear on my knees now that I don't have to carry 40 lbs of 4x5 equipment..

But the rule above still applies. "f16 and be there", except I usually keep the f stop set at 22. And I use the "Active D Lighting" and "HDR" functions quite a bit.

I hope you enjoy these images and it encourages you to venture out into the natural world and find moments like these for yourself. Bring a camera if you've got one, and ask someone to join you if you'd like, but above all else, GO. Time and life are our only real possessions.

 

River Road Maples by Ray Mathis

 

Sugar Maple Stand by Ray Mathis

 

Sugar Maple Brilliance by Ray Mathis

 

Volo Bog Fall Morning by Ray Mathis

 

Volo Bog Natural Area by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset on Sugar Maple by Ray Mathis

 

Sugar Maple Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Moraine Hills Sugar Maple by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Prairie in Moraine Hills by Ray Mathis

 

Moraine Hills Fall Colors by Ray Mathis

 

Road to Sunshine Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Telluride Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Ophir Road Hillside by Ray Mathis

 

Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

San Juan Mountain Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Mt. Sneffels from County Road 7 by Ray Mathis

 

Evening along County Road 7 by Ray Mathis

 

County Road 7 Fall Colors by Ray Mathis

 

Alpine Loop Road Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Dallas Divide Afternoon by Ray Mathis

 

Telluride Mountain Lake by Ray Mathis

 

Highway 145 Colorado by Ray Mathis

 

Aspen Road by Ray Mathis

 

Aspen Lane by Ray Mathis

 

High Country Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Ouray County Road 8 by Ray Mathis

 

San Juan Mountains from Dallas Divide by Ray Mathis

 

Dallas Divide by Ray Mathis

 

Million Dollar Highway 550 by Ray Mathis

 

Ouray Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Ouray Canyon Switchbacks by Ray Mathis

 

Million Dollar Highway by Ray Mathis

 

Ironton Fall Color by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Fall Color by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Silverton Mountainscape by Ray Mathis

 

Frosty Fall Morning along Alpine Loop by Ray Mathis

 

Alpine Loop Pond by Ray Mathis

 

Alpine Loop Road Pond by Ray Mathis

 

Silverton Dig by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Pass Fall Color by Ray Mathis

 

Million Dollar Fall Color by Ray Mathis

 

Million Dollar Highway Fall Color by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Pass Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Roadside Creek near Red Mountain Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Million Dollar Highway by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Alpine Loop Valley by Ray Mathis