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.

 

Zion Beehive - Zion National Park by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset in Capitol Reef NP along Scenic Drive by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds over Temple Dome in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

North End of Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Towers Silhouetted along Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Scenic Drive North in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Heading North along Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Grand Wash from Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Entering Grand Wash in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Grand Wash in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Along Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Entrance to Grand Wash in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

South Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef NP by Ray Mathis

 

Evening Light on Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Nippersink Creek Winter Sunset Reflection by Ray Mathis

 

Pink Sunset Clouds Reflect in Frozen Nippersink Creek by Ray Mathis

 

Sun Setting in Winter in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Passing Clouds at Sunset Above Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Sunset Above Silo in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light Over Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

A Frigid Day Comes to an End in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Sunset Reflected in Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Sunset Reflected in Frozen Nippersink Creek by Ray Mathis

 

Frigid Sunset in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Frozen Glacial Park at Sunset on Frigid Day by Ray Mathis

 

Frozen Nippersink Creek at Sunset in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds Roll In Over Glacial Park at Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset on Frozen Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Grasses Covered with Hoarfrost Along Nippersink Creek by Ray Mathis

 

Hoarfrost along Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Frozen Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Keystone Landing on Frozen Morning in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Sunrise on Hoarfrost along Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Hoarfrost along Nippersink Creek on a Subzero Morning in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Sunzero Morning Sunrise in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Frosted Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park on Subzero Morning by Ray Mathis

 

Subzero Sunrise on Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Frosted Shoreline of Nippersink Creek at Sunrise in Winter by Ray Mathis

 

Sunrise on Frozen, Frosted Nippersink Creek by Ray Mathis

 

Sunrise on a Sub Zero Morning in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Glacial Park Winter Sunrise by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Sunrise over North Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Sun Peaks Through Sunrise Clouds in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis

 

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Winter Sunrise by Ray Mathis

 

Winter Sunrise over Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge by Ray Mathis

 

Curving Morning Clouds over Glacial Park Wetland by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Sky over Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Wetland by Ray Mathis

 

Morning Clouds over Frozen Wetland in Glacial Park by Ray Mathis