Saturday, 02 September 2017 23:44

The Light That Remains

In the fading light of a cloudless fall day, the upper slickrock of Zion National Park gives up the last of the sun's rays foot by foot, slowly, wash by wash, rock by rock, and tree by tree. The sinuous run of Pine Creek, mostly dry year-round until a passing shower fills its bed, becomes a haven for big-tooth maple and Gamble's oak, overcrowned with ponderosa pine and the great masses of Navajo sandstone. The curving wash is a paradise, too, for lenses of all sorts, including the wide-angle variety. I knelt on the edge of the soft, sandy bottom, where it met the layered rock that became a leading line down the creekbed and into the waning day. A focal length of 20mm, fairly extreme wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 0.8 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The upper slickrock of Zion is like another world; it draws you into its many contrasts and holds you until can fathom its eternal depths. 

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More in this category: « Prelude to a Storm

5 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 08 September 2017 13:10 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon Everyone, it's great to hear from you and to have you join me for this conversation. We're in the midst of an afternoon break in the Wildflowers and Waterfalls workshop, and so it's a perfect time to reflect on the thoughts and comments from this most recent Image, especially in a context so completely different from where we are at the moment.
    Hey Nancy T., I hope you have been well. I'm looking forward to our afternoon rendezvous coming up quite soon. What a wonderful journey you have taken us on with your mysteries and wadis and sources; but I really like your reflections on lines and shapes and angles, and how they become so metaphorical when we allow our imaginations to roam through them, freely describing the pictures they create for us.
    Hi Donald, I appreciate your kind words and, of course, would be quick to heed any flash flood warning involving this location no matter how beautiful; after which clambering would be exactly the thing to do. Walk in Beauty, my friend, I suppose you are back in school for a new year.
    You know, Warren, I find it somehow difficult to imagine your being without words, but I am very appreciative of your being stunned. We're missing you on this adventure and hope you're ready for a beautiful fall. Kevin says, "Hello.
    Hi Ray, it's always good to have you with us; and I'm happy to hear your report of your time in Cornwall. As always I value your thoughtful deconstruction of my work. I enjoy the thoughtful analysis of the elements and principles at work in whatever I share. The lines and shapes and forms are perhaps straightforward, but your thoughtful words on the dynamic range are very perceptive. It is not unusual in the very late afternoon for the dynamic range to be compressed within what your camera can tolerate while at the same time allowing the dynamic nature of the scene to be sustained. For some reason this seems to be more common in the desert. For me, the real key to effective wide-angle work lies in keeping the scope of the information strictly within the range of the story you are telling and not allowing it to broaden into something that loses itself in quantity. Thanks for noticing.
    The longer I offer my musings on creative camerawork and beauty, the more I appreciate the fun of having friends like you to share your ideas and feelings of what you see in them. Thank you.
    Walk in the Beauty that surrounds you.

  • Comment Link Ray Foote Sunday, 03 September 2017 09:48 posted by Ray Foote

    Don, thank you for another perfect start to a Sunday. Zion is one of my favorites, though I've not yet been to this region of the park. Several things about this image struck me; first, I very much like the tight cropping to provide just a suggestion of sky and to just tuck in that peak upper left. Second, the way you straddled a vast chasm in light values between the sunlit rock and all the rest in shadow. Third, as usual, your composition is masterful. The powerful line from lower L to upper R is perfect, even picking up the shadows high in the image. And, with that little platoon of upright conifers for contrast and balance, the diagonal takes on even greater impact. We're just back from 10 days in England, divided between London and Cornwall. I had a grand time shooting the dramatic rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the rich emerald fields of late summer. Have a great week! Ray

  • Comment Link J. Warren Berry Sunday, 03 September 2017 09:24 posted by J. Warren Berry

    I audibly gasped and said, "Gracious!" when this scene came up on my screen. Zion is a beautiful place, but this stunning! I have no words...

  • Comment Link Don Newsom Sunday, 03 September 2017 09:15 posted by Don Newsom

    What a beautiful invitation to go clambering right into the image (after heeding any flash flood warnings, of course)!

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 03 September 2017 08:56 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Nice contrasts with the lighting and textures. The slick rock and the gravel in the wadi look like they lead to another world. The tall trees seem to make a screen to block the view of the mystery beyond. I like how the slick rock is at an angle leading to the other side with a glimpse of the tip of a mountain between the trees. This made me think of "The Source". This could be a book cover for a Michener novel... if he were still writing. Thanks for sharing.

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