My October 2017 Photo of the Month is Monolith, an image made of El Cajon Mountain in San Diego County.
While I produced so many good images in September that I have yet to process all of them, October was much more challenging. This is why busiest month of the year with the BSA, and I was out of town doing conferences.
There was also a general trend of less favorable weather conditions. A couple deep Santa Ana conditions set in, producing incredibly hot days without a cloud in any direction.
That was the genesis of how this image was made. I (finally) saw some nice clouds and realized the month was finishing out. I forced myself out even when I didn’t quite feel like it. The glow from the leading cloud was incredible, so much that I strongly considered a color version of this image before I determined the black and white was stronger.
To further build a mood and contrast, I used my red filter to really darken that blue channel. I should note that the blue turns dark within the red filter. You will notice when you process your images that the only available color adjustments in Lightroom in the HSL panel are red only.
As with so many of my images taken from the Blossom Valley summit overlook, this image doesn’t do just to what an impressive piece of granite El Cajon Mountain is. It would be considered the third “El Capitan” in fame behind Yosemite and Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains, but from many vantage points it is clearly the most distinctive rock formation in San Diego County.
Return Of Cooler Weather
Prevailing weather in November and beyond mean one thing: the desert is back open for business. While I did some “car” trips this Summer through Anza-Borrego, I was limited to pulling off the road. The desert is where my heart is. I should be venturing out more after a Summer mainly limited to roads and the Pacific Coast.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.