“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” — Ansel Adams

Joseph Balson


I love heat. I'm never more happy than when temperature is 100. I love the sun, the sensation of heat on my skin. Maybe I should live permanently is a place like Death Valley. It's pretty boring from a photographer point of view, but at least climate is just right for me.
Anyways, heat or the impression of heat is something I like to shoot.

A drive on the I-10 east in the San Gorgonio Pass wind farm when the sun started to get low was a perfect opportunity to shoot heat.

Super bright sunlight, dense haze on the horizon, very high contrast, some clouds to give the sky some texture, it was all the perfect setting for me.

I chose to shoot against the light. Since I was in a vehicle, with a fairly long focal length, I had to shoot fast speed to freeze motion.

Those kind of shooting conditions are enough to put any modern camera on its knees (well, Kinda). But at the time, I was playing again with the Nikon D70.

Basically, it meant, some noise because I was shooting at 800 ISO, a very limited dynamic range from the early century, and an AF not that fast, that made me use pretty small aperture to benefit from a somehow large depth of field.

But in the end, the D70 behaved. The white balance was tricky: the camera just didn't got it super right. I had to set it manually.

When I downloaded the raws in LR, I was pretty happy. The post processing was gonna be really easy.

Exporting in Photolab to get rid of the noise, with very conservative settings, and correct the lens geometry. For those two tasks, Photolab is in my opinion the best, NR is great and looks natural, and geometry is almost perfect... when there is at least a profile for your lens+camera...

Back in LR, I only needed to recover some shadow, at that was it. I was done.

The end result was exactly what I visualized during the shooting.