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.

 

East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Cove View of Colorado National Monument's East Side by Ray Mathis

 

East Side Colorado National Monument from Cove by Ray Mathis

 

Keyhole on the East Side of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Keyhole View of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorado National Monument Keyhole by Ray Mathis

 

Trail of the Serpent on East Side of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Cove on East Side of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Colorado National Monument's East Side by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Colored Overhang in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Side - Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Colorado National Monument's East Entrance by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Clouds over Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Rim Rock Drive at East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Trail of the Serpent at East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds Roll Over Tabegauche near Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Tabegauche from Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Side of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Rim Rock Drive of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Sunrise over East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Entrance's Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Rim Rock Drive Boulders in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds Roll Over East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Morning at East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Rim Rock Drive at East Entrance to Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Sun Light Snow Covered Boulders in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Clouds over Colorado National Monument's East Entrance by Ray Mathis

 

East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Snowy Morning at Colorado National Monument's East Entrance by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Boulders Above Rim Rock Drive by Ray Mathis

 

Snowy Morning at Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Morning at Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Boulders near East Entrance of CO National monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning in Colorado National Monument after by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds over East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Boulders along Rim Rock Drive by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Buttes of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning along Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Boulders along Rim Rock Drive in CO National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning at Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Snow at East Entrance to Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Low Morning Clouds at East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Light on Buttes along Rim Rock Drive in CO National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Side Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

Climbing up Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis

 

East Entrance of Colorado National Monument by Ray Mathis