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Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

This is the view from the Colorado National Monument outside of Grand Junction, CO. If you are ever visiting, make sure you add an hour or two to you plan so you can take a little side-trip. In October, there is a bike ride that tours through it ( register here ). I’ll be there!

If you’d like to use it for your desktop, click the image to get a much larger version!

Photographer’s Note – I processed this image using the Photomatix 32bit HDR plugin (click here to get it). It’s a very slick tool for your workflow which allows you to generate 32bit HDR files, re-import back into Lightroom and then use LRs familiar Develop Module.

Bob Lussier

Bob Lussier

The is my man Bob Lussier. He recently sent me a cool photo for my ‘about me’ page, so I thought I would share a photo that I shot of him while we were at #nXnw 2013. Bob has many claims to fame, but the fact he can run a sub three hour marathon, pretty much makes his a super hero in my book. Make sure to check out his work here.

iPhone Friday – nXnw via Instagram

If you have followed me on (@JustinBalog) you have probably seen these images, and a whole bunch more from Moab last week. They were from the 2nd Annual North by Northwest Photo Jamboree (#nXnw). What is nXnw you ask? Well, it dates was back to Austin, TX in 2011. Photographer and friend, Dave Wilson was kind enough to organize a photo-walk when I visited. Ever since then, we have organized epic photo expeditions with other photographer friends of ours. Last year was Oregon, this year was Moab.

The lesson I have learned from these adventures is a simple yet profoundly powerful one. Art is an incredible force. Without it, I never would have met any of the guys from the #nXnw adventures. Heck, until they arrived at the airport, I had never met most of them. After four full days of shooting the Utah desert, with very limited sleep, you become good friends rather quickly. That is what Art can do. It can take your world and expand it in the most amazing ways. All we have on this ball of rock are the human relations we create and maintain. They are the greatest gift the world has granted us. Art is the great uniter that builds strong bonds between good people. So go out there…make some art, meet new people and I guarantee you will create great friendships.

Here are the links to the member of the #nXnw team. I recommend you check out all of their work. It will be time well spent.










Cisco Utah – Part III

Cisco Utah

This will be the final look at the forgotten town of Cisco, UT. It’s actually not completely forgotten, that house is occupied. There is usually a light on in it and apparently they rock Dish Network. It is usually quiet in town, but the day we visited some Troopers (pronounced Troopahs) pulled up and arrested a couple of fugitives. Dave Wilson thought they were there to arrest him, so he hid inside the post office.

Cisco Utah

Photographer’s Note – If you enjoyed this series and would like to know how I processed these photos, I shared my NIK CEP 4 Recipe. Click Here to download it.

Cisco Utah – Part I

Cisco Utah

I apologize to you for missing yesterday’s post. Over the last three days, I’ve only gotten about 7 hours of sleep. The rest of the time was spent photographing the areas around Moab Utah with some incredible photographers who are also my good friends. More on the second annual North by Northwest Photo Jamboree (aka #nXnw) in a later post. I need to get some sleep!

As for this image, which was one of the first images I shot on the trip, I decided to experiment and try to evolve my creativity and process. Having photographed Cisco Utah many time, I wanted to bring a style of Americana that I have worked on over the last couple of years. For this style I’m developing, I use a single lens. It is the Nikon 45mm PC-E (get the full specs at B&H -af link). At 45mm, it conveys close to a normal focal length, much like your eye would see. Which I like for my style of Americana because it provides a very familiar feel to the viewer. However, because it tilts, I’m able to mange the element of focus in a much more creative way.