Friday, 25 November 2016 10:06

First Light

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There is a very long, thin remnant of uplift on the eastern side of Castle Valley. Along this ridge are three prominent locations where the caprock has resisted erosion to produce some outstanding geological features. Toward the south is the rock dome of Castleton Tower. Northward along the spine are the spires known as the "Priest and the Nuns", and on the north end of the ridge, closer to the flow of the mighty Colorado, is a massive monument, which is unnamed on the maps I have studied, but which because of its orientation to the great mountains to the southeast is often the first place in the surrounding terrain to receive the morning light. On a day in early-November recently I found this monument bathed in the dawning glow, beneath a sky filled with drifting stratus and rafts of wonderful cirrus. A focal length of 36mm, the cusp of wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/13, given the camera-to-subject distance, provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 1/4th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The Colorado Plateau in first light is a world apart.

Read 1652 times Last modified on Sunday, 11 December 2016 08:11


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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 03 December 2016 10:42 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. It's great to have you with me for this conversation; thank you all for joining me.
    Hi Nancy T., your descriptive stories are always uplifting, and I always appreciate reading them. I've never thought of a phalanx of cirrus as a drum roll, but that is certainly one of the things they are visually. You have also discerned my dilemma: more sky or more ground. Fortunately it seemed like I was able to give more space to the sky, which I really wanted to do because of the wonderful clouds floating around, as well emphasize the light of the monument itself. And it all did seem rather uplifting in the end.
    Hey Tari. It's always good to hear from you. This was a morning I really enjoyed - this prelude to the La Sal Loop Road. The clouds seemed to come from nowhere and move like rafts of colored air before disappearing altogether, and it did not hurt that the clouds were moving at a diagonal to the camera. It was so much fun having you with us for these adventures.
    Hey Warren. I hope you are still out there somewhere enjoying all of the miraculous sights we shared. Thanks for your kind words. The textures of the clouds and of the rocks did make for a wonderful contrast that the light seemed to magnify.
    I hope we all will walk in beauty in these coming days and weeks and months. Be well, All.

  • Comment Link J Warren Berry Saturday, 03 December 2016 09:13 posted by J Warren Berry

    I love the contrasting light and textures. Beautiful.

  • Comment Link tari federer Monday, 28 November 2016 10:13 posted by tari federer

    I love the way the clouds lead you to the cap of this monument and then dissipate into the ether emanating the Earth's strata. This image is spectacular.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 27 November 2016 11:19 posted by Nancy Tripp

    It looks like the cirrus clouds are playing a drum roll. They are proud to be the backdrop of the morning unveiling of the monument. I like how you gave the sky the most room with all lines focusing on the monument. It created a beautiful, uplifting story of peace for the new day.

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