The False Kiva is an Archeological Site within the “Island in the Sky” district of Canyon lands. It isn’t publicized, however, but since it is on public lands, is still accessible to the public if they know where to go. Going by the number of photos I have seen of this, I imagine every photographer in the world must know where it is, thanks to the internet. This particular photo has won first place at our state fair as well as a PSA approved exhibition competition. Due to the exposure range between the inside of the dark cave and the bright outside, I used bracketing of 5 exposures on my camera.
Camera and settings:
Nikon D700 on a tripod
ISO 400 at f/20 and bracketed speeds
Initial global adjustments were made in lightroom
An HDR was made of 5 photos of different exposures in Photomatix.
3 exposures plus the HDR were then brought into Photoshop as layers
Explosure blending was done to these layers to bring in the best aspect of each. The HDR was used at a low opacity to give the exposure layer of the inside of the cave more depth.
Once the blending was to where I wanted it, I merged the layers
Added tonal contrast with Nik Color Eflex Pro
Increased the contrast and blend of the mid-tones using luminosity masks.