×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 62
Saturday, 15 March 2014 21:21

Light Play at Wiggler Bench

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

From a high point along Cottonwood Canyon Road just southeast of Kodachrome Basin State Park in the vastness of Kane County, Utah there is a view across the upper end of Wiggler Wash where Horse Creek enters through its breach in the wall that is Wiggler Bench. Far beyond, the Escalante Mountains and the Aquarius Plateau rise into the sky. It is a sparse country of Navajo Sandstone and juniper, with enough water to grow sage and rabbitbrush and little else. What does grow in rich abundance is beauty, and it blooms year-round; but in the late light of a mid-fall afternoon when the rafts of floating cumuli sail across the deep azure space above, the highlight and shadow make that beauty palpable. It brings out texture and tonality in a wash of contrast that brings forth a richness that can only be described as awesome. We found a place along the edge of the wall where the view was unobstructed and began crafting combinations of line and shape that were feasts for the eyes. A short telephoto focal length of 157mm gave me the angle of view I wanted. An aperture of f/22 maximized my depth-of-field, while a shutter speed of 1/15th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.

 

 

Read 13749 times Last modified on Saturday, 12 April 2014 22:17

5 comments

  • Comment Link Don McGowan Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:40 posted by Don McGowan

    Hello Everyone, thank you all very much for joining me in this conversation.

    Chuck, I am really excited about sharing this beautiful place with you and the other "cousins." I mentioned to Pat last week that I am looking forward to seeing the difference between fall and spring. You hit it exactly with your observation about the difference between the wooded mountains of the East and the bare uplifts of the Southwest. The fact that they are merely different says that both can be equally beautiful.

    Jessyca, I appreciate your observations about the interplay of light and shadow. In my mind, this would have been a completely different image had that interplay been absent. And when it is present, it is often a matter of watching as it plays out to find the combination that seems to evoke the strongest emotional response. In the process you sometimes take many frames, for there is usually no telling when, or if, the response may become stronger.

    Joani, the North Rim is amazingly beautiful, but be sure to set aside some time to get over into the adjacent area of southern Utah around Kanab on your way to Zion and Bryce. The Grand Staircase lives up to its name.

    Dorsey, I have come to very much appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you observe. The "pepper on a baked potato" is a description I'll certainly remember. My goal has always been to encourage people to "look deeper" and to go beyond the blush of first appearance. Many folks would not have noticed the top of the Grand Staircase, the Aquarius Plateau tucked into the background, but these are the things that, to me, delight my visual experience when I discover it. I've always considered that Pat O'Hara is the master of this, and he has long been my mentor in that regard.

    Thanks, again, to all of you for sharing the journey with me.

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Tuesday, 18 March 2014 23:03 posted by Dorsey Davis

    Don, when I looked at this image my first impression was that it lacked the scale and depth that most of your images do. Having photographed in the southwest I realize how difficult it is to convey the space, the distance in those barren and often drab landscapes. Upon closer inspection I discovered the sunlit plain in the distance was covered with dark spots that looked a lot like pepper on a baked potato. That is when I realized that those were junipers and knowing that they are 8-15 feet tall with about the same diameter I knew that barren plain was perhaps miles away. The way that the cloud shades the distant foreground leads our eye to that sunlit plain and the light playing through those clouds on the distant eroded hills provides just the right amount of separation and form to the otherwise colorless eroded hills. The mountain peak barely visible in the distance, which I missed altogether when I first looked at the picture, finishes our sense of the immensity of this landscape. When I visit the southwest the barrenness and monotony of much of the landscape intimidates me and I end up trying to compose something more intimate. This image proves that there is beauty even in the barrenness.

  • Comment Link Joani Monday, 17 March 2014 12:11 posted by Joani

    Our trip planning has gotten us as far as the North Rim, G.C. Plan to visit Zion/Bryce as well, and will be looking for campgrounds in that area. Doesn't look like it will matter where we stay! Thanks for specifying the areas. Learn so much with each photo.

  • Comment Link Jessyca Stansbury- McCargo Sunday, 16 March 2014 15:57 posted by Jessyca Stansbury- McCargo

    Awesome Photo. A combination of the composition and lighting is beautiful. The light and shades seem to be perfectly aligned. Thanks for sharing this photo.

  • Comment Link Chuck Coburn Sunday, 16 March 2014 13:10 posted by Chuck Coburn

    Light Play is definitely there, but so is the beauty of bareness. We are so used to seeing the beauty of the Appalachians in their blanket of flora, and there's nothing wrong with that, that the absence of it in the southwest strikes strongly with a different beauty and awe. Love the image, and can hardly wait to see it all in person.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Site copyright © 2001 - 2017 Don McGowan & EarthSong Photography. 

All Rights Reserved.