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Taken with a Phase One IQ160 Medium Format Back and Arca rm3di/28mm Rodenstock Lens, image was captured in a bracketed series of exposures.
I have featured this image many times, but it’s still one of my favorites. I took this shot in January 2011 with a “tech” camera an Arca rm3di, with a Rodenstock 28mm lens. This view has since been ruined by graffiti, which was painted all over the rocks. I have slowly tried to removed it over the past 2 years, and have made some progress, however to the assholes that did it, **uk you.
Flatside Pinnacle is the key point in the Flatside Wilderness, and is right in the middle of the Quachita mountains. Looking in the shot between the two pine trees you can see Forked Mountain off in the western distance. Towards the middle of summer, you can catch the sun setting over the top of Forked Mountain. Flatside itself is around 1,500 feet tall, which make it taller than both Mt. Nebo, (near Russellville) and Petit Jean Mountain. The good news is that you don’t have hike very far to get to the summit as a road takes you almost all the way to summit. The Ouachita trail comes very close to Flatside also. The view from the summit has to be one of the best in Arkansas. Here looking to the west you can see Forked Mountain, and off to the right, Mt. Nebo, Spring Mountain, and the grandest of all Mt. Magazine, which is over 2,700 feet tall.
Flatside is great spot to catch a sunset, however if you want to get the best light try to get there before 11:00 am as after that you will be shooting into the sun. If there are some clouds, you may still get away with a great shot. Take a lunch and sit out on the rocks and enjoy the day.
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, and 24-70MKI lens, iso 400 Single exposure
Flatside Pinnacle, really is the gateway to the Ouachita mountains and the view to the west from the summit is well worth the drive out from Little Rock. Don’t confuse this with Pinnacle Mountain, which is much closer to Little Rock. Flatside pinnacle is around 1,500 feet tall, which puts it higher than Petit Jean, and Mt. Nebo. On a clear day you can can see Forked Mountain way off in the distance and also Mt. Magazine, the highest spot in Arkansas. Looking behind you can make out the eastern end of Petit Jean mountain and the Mt. Nebo and Spring Mountain. Flatside was recently heavily defaced with paint which just goes to show there are SOME REALLY FRIGGIN STUPID PEOPLE out there. Not sure why they bother to come out. I have worked on the graffiti now about 3 times over the past year and it’s finally starting to wear off, but it’s a damn shame that some folks just don’t get it and want to ruin it for everyone.
This was a morning that really did not turn out to be a very good day, but there was a brief period where the sun managed to break through the heavy clouds and really the effect was wonderful. Fall was in full bloom and so the colors down in the valley from the summit of Flatside Pinnacle were excellent. I worked this image up in Lightroom and then used Topaz clarity to help bring out more of the rays of the sun in the fog. This light only lasted about 10 minutes and then the clouds settled back down over the entire valley. Just another example of just how much photography is luck and being able to be at the right spot at the right time.
Flatside is worth a hike anytime of the year. It offers some of the best sunsets in the Ouachitas. Sadly the wilderness boundary continues to become more and more defined by recent clear cuts, which leave huge swatches of solid green pine trees in their place. If you go after a big storm or in winter you might want to bring a chainsaw or handsaw as it’s quite possible to find a recent fallen tree blocking the road.
Taken with a Phase One IQ160 Digital Back and Rodenstock 28mm lens @ F11 iso 50 for approximately 1/30 of a second. If you have a few hours one winter afternoon, take a drive out to Flatside Pinnacle and work up a sunset. This area is not too far from the city, and takes about 40 minutes to get there. From Flatside you have a view to the west that is one of the best in Arkansas. Here you can see the beginning of the rolling Ouachita mountains and in the distance Forked Mountain. Flatside is not a hard hike so you can bring some extra equipment if you like. It’s also a great place to position yourself to watch a storm roll in from the west in the summertime. Looking to the right just outside the scope of this photograph, you can see the other tallest peaks in Arkansas all lined up, Mt Nebo, Spring Mountain, and of course the tallest Mt. Magazine. Great place to spend to off time.
Taken with a Canon 1ds mkII, Canon 70-300 lens, F11, iso 200, Composite shot taken as a manual exposure bracket. If you get a chance to visit this area you won’t be disappointed by what you find. Flatside is the 3rd in a series of pinnacles that I consider to be the gateway to the Ouachita mountains. In Pulaski County, you have Pinnacle Mountain, then just a bit east from Flatside, there is Northside Pinnacle. These are followed in turn by Flatside and then Forked Mountain. Forked mountain can easily be seen in the distance from the summit of Flatside. Forked Mt. is a considerably harder climb than Flatside but the view from it’s summit is worth the hike. I like to shoot to the west from the summit of Flatside after the sun has dropped below the horizon as you then can pick up the rolling hills out towards the west. I worked this shot up from 5 separate exposures in a classic exposure bracketed series, which was required back when I was shooting with the Canon 1ds series of cameras, now with Nikon’s newer cameras like the D800, I should be able to get the same shot with 2 or 3 frames max due to the extra dynamic range of the Nikon sensors. The trail runs up the back of Flatside mountain and right now there are several large trees down that make the hike take a bit longer. The trail is an easy 1/4 hike from where you park your car.
Taken in January 2012, Camera Digital-Phase One IQ160 mounted to Arca rm3di, Lens-Rodenstock 28mm HR, 2 exposures to create a exposure bracket. The wintertime in Arkansas can be very photogenic. I was out on Flatside in early January 2012 working with a new Rodenstock 28mm HR lens with a Arca Swiss rm3di. I wanted to test the lens in various combinations of focus and tilt. For this shot I was able to get a hyperfocal of about 24 inches to infinity. I used approximately 1/2 of a degree of downward tilt on the Arca rm3di. The corresponding depth of field was amazing. For this shot I took off my polarizer as it just did seem to make much difference. The Phase One IQ160 performed very well here. In the past when working with my older Phase One P45+, I found shots like this one impossible since the P45+ was impossible to work with bright highlights. For example on this shot I would have needed to take a shot for just the sun and these several more exposure brackets to try and pull in the shadows in the foreground. The Phase One IQ160 did this shot in 2 exposures. I still couldn’t get it all in one, but I found the Dynamic Range of the Phase One IQ160 a vast improvement over my P45+.
Taken with a Canon 1ds MKII, iso 100, HDR series 5 frames, Canon 24-70 lens @ F11. Flatside Pinnacle is one of those places that once you make a trip there, you will find yourself going back many times. You can catch a great sunset looking out over the Ouachita mountains, or if you are there early in the morning, the fog will be down in the hills. Flatside is an easy 40 minute drive from Little Rock, west on Hwy 10 towards Lake Sylvia. I took this shot with a Canon 1ds, MKII, in a 5 frame HDR series. The sun had already set and the exposure times were from around 5″ to 20″. The effect I was after was the light playing off the haze in the distance. The colors of the sky that day were amazing. The hike to Flatside will take you near the 150 mile Quachita trail which runs east/west across most of the Arkansas Ouachita mountains and into Oklahoma.