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.

 

Caineville Wash Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Dune Sunset in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Moonrise over Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset Glow over Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

High Clouds over Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Capitol Reef Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light on Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset on Capitol Reef Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset on Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Dune Sunset in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light on Bentonite Dunes in Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Caineville Wash Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Caineville Wash Sunset by Ray Mathis

 

Bentonite Dunes on Road to Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light on Caineville Wash Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Caineville Wash Dunescape by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset over Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light on Caineville Wash and Factory Butte by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset on Caineville Wash by Ray Mathis

 

Caineville Wash Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

The Road to Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Dunes along Road to Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Desert Varnish above Fremont River by Ray Mathis

 

Bentonite Dunes beneath The Castle by Ray Mathis

 

Castle Dunes along Scenic Byway 24 by Ray Mathis

 

The Castle from Scenic Byway 24 by Ray Mathis

 

Afternoon Light on The Castle by Ray Mathis

 

The Castle of Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Capitol Reef's Castle by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds over the Castle in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Castle Clouds by Ray Mathis

 

Capitol Reef National Park by Ray Mathis

 

Fluted Wall in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Twin Rock in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Capitol Reef Scenic Byway 24 by Ray Mathis

 

Fluted Wall along Scenic Byway 24 by Ray Mathis

 

River Fjord Dunescape by Ray Mathis

 

River Fjord Dunes in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Dunescape along Road to Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Cathedral Valley Dunes by Ray Mathis

 

Bentonite Clay Dunes in Capitol Reef by Ray Mathis

 

Afternoon in Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Bentonite Dunes in Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis

 

Cathedral Valley Desert by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Cathedral Valley Desert by Ray Mathis

 

Volcanic Boulder in Cathedral Valley Desert by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Capitol Reef Desert by Ray Mathis

 

Balanced Rock in Cathedral Valley by Ray Mathis