Turret Arch at sunset in Arches National Park. Taken by Jon Armstrong for

Turret Arch

I was still getting used to the manual focus on the Zeiss lenses I rented for this trip to Arches National Park. When you get used to motor driven auto-focusing lenses, it’s like going from driving a standard automatic transmission to driving a clutch. You forget a couple of things. As I’ve stated before, I loved that the manual lenses forced me to slow down and compose, force me take my time and double check to make sure I’m good before I press the shutter release.

The clouds needed some work to bring out some definition. The actual light was darker than this, but I wanted to pull out the detail of the arch and give a sense of scale. There are people in this image, but you have to look hard to see the people furthest from the camera. It was too dark to make them out prior to working it.

I loved two of the Zeiss lenses the most, the 21mm prime and the 100mm prime. I was thinking of adding a wider lens and really want to shoot with the 18mm f/3.5 to see if I like having a 3mm wider angle. Either way, it’s going to be awhile before I splurge on any lens. As I look at my images in Lightroom, I can’t get over just how huge a difference with miniscule chromatic aberration (Wikipedia, pretty good tutorial compared to my Canon glass. I tend to shoot at the extremes of my lenses. This is one of the reasons that I think I like the manual focus, prime aspect: no dinking around. Point, focus, compose by moving my body around, refocus, shoot. anyway. Yeah. On the lust list.

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Affirmation: Don’t complain once today.

  • americanrecluse

    I FOUND A PERSON! Yes, I totally just treated your photo as one of those “hunt for the hidden items” games.

    (a standard transmission and one with a clutch are the same thing – I think you meant an automatic vs a clutch or manual)

    • blurb

      Ha. Fixed. Thanks for catching that.

      • chernevik

        Actually both automatic and manual transmission have a clutch, it’s just that the automatic it’s controlled for you. Manual or automatic, I’m being kind of an ass, aren’t I?

  • Linda

    Just beautiful!

    • blurb


  • Pixelfish

    Oh, and thanks for the link on chromatic aberration.

  • Naomi Shadix

    Wow! Just gorgeous.

  • MyPetGloat

    This is stunning! The sky is a burst and the landscape is heaven.

  • Lilly O’Handley

    “On the lust list.” Oh my…is it an age-thing when camera equipment replaces my 2nd and 3rd items on my own “lust list?”

  • Meegs

    I adore the colors in this. Gorgeous.

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