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.

 

Huge Wind Swept Cloud Over Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Mt. Wilson Fall Storm Clouds by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Color Coming to Hillsides on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Breaking Fall Storm over Mt. Wilson by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds Break over Fall Colored Mt. Wilson by Ray Mathis

 

Clouds Break over Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Sky over Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Comes to Wilson Mesa Ranch Loop by Ray Mathis

 

Aspens Glow after Storm on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Multicolored Fall Hillsides on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Colorful Mountainsides on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Color on Wilson Mesa Loop Road by Ray Mathis

 

Glowing Aspens on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Mt. Wilson in Full Color and Storm Clouds by Ray Mathis

 

Spotlight on Fall Colors on Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Storm Front Passes Over Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Wilson Mesa Storm in Fall by Ray Mathis

 

Fall comes to Wilson Mesa Ranch Loop Road by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Storm over Mt. Wilson by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Storm Clouds over Wilson Mesa by Ray Mathis

 

Wilson Mesa in Fall by Ray Mathis

 

Flaming Sunset from Last Dollar Road by Ray Mathis

 

Beautiful Sunset as seen from Last Dollar Road by Ray Mathis

 

Sunset Along Last Dollar Road by Ray Mathis

 

Colorado High Country South of Silverton by Ray Mathis

 

Colorado High Country by Ray Mathis

 

Molas Pass on Highway 550 by Ray Mathis

 

Molas Divide and Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

The Mountains of Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Descending Into Silverton by Ray Mathis

 

High Above Silverton by Ray Mathis

 

The Road Down to Silverton by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Fall Color Aspens by Ray Mathis

 

Fall Sunset at Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Molas Pass Colorado in Fall by Ray Mathis

 

Climbing to Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Heading to Durango from Silverton by Ray Mathis

 

The Road Up to Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Downhill to Durango by Ray Mathis

 

The Silverton to Durango Highway by Ray Mathis

 

The Trip down to Durango from Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Last Light Along Road to Durango by Ray Mathis

 

The Road to Durango by Ray Mathis

 

Looking West from Molas Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Molas Pass Reflection by Ray Mathis

 

Red Mountain Pass by Ray Mathis

 

Spotlight on Red Mountain by Ray Mathis