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.

 

Evening Sun on Book Cliffs Boulders by Ray Mathis

 

Spotlight on Book Cliffs in Colorado by Ray Mathis

 

Afternoon in Winter at Book Cliffs by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Afternoon at Book Cliffs in Grand Junction by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Lichen Covered Boulders at Book Cliffs by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Book Cliffs and Its Boulders by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders on Book Cliffs Desert by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Clouds over Snow Covered Book Cliffs by Ray Mathis

 

Huge Clouds Cast Shadow on Book Cliffs by Ray Mathis

 

Huge Clouds over Book Cliffs in Grand Junction by Ray Mathis

 

Billowing Clouds over Book Cliffs along 27 1/4 Road by Ray Mathis

 

Spotlight on Mt. Garfield beneath Clouds by Ray Mathis

 

Passing Clouds over Book Cliffs in Colorado by Ray Mathis

 

Billowing Clouds above Book Cliffs by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Colors near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders and Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Multi-colored Boulders and Dunes in Grand Junction by Ray Mathis

 

Castle Like Bentonite Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders and Dunes in Grand Junction by Ray Mathis

 

Hillside Boulders and Bentonite Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Colors after Overnight Snow by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Colorful Dunes and Boulders by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Covered Bentonite Dunes and Boulders near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders and Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Snow Dusted Bentonite Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders and Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Boulders and Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Bentonite Dunes near Ruby Mountain by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Boulders Beneath Bentonite Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Fresh Snow on Rabbit Brush and Bentonite Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Pastel Canyon Sandstone Waves in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Sandstone Shapes of Valley of Firee by Ray Mathis

 

Ship of Sandstone in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Tilted Sandstone in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Bands of Color in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Valley of Fire State Park by Ray Mathis

 

Soft Colors of Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Layers of Color in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Morning at Valley of Fire State Park by Ray Mathis

 

The Many Colors of Valley of Fire State Park by Ray Mathis

 

Kaleidoscope of Color in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Pastel Colored Sandstone in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Band of Gold in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

The Colorful Sandstone of Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Entrance to Pastel Canyon in Valley of Fire by Ray Mathis

 

Valley of Fire's Pastel Canyon by Ray Mathis

 

Pastel Canyon in Valley of Fire State Park by Ray Mathis