Friday, 03 August 2018 22:55

Courthouse Morning

From a small area just north of the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint in Arches National Park, Sheep Rock and the side of The Organ closely frame the more distant, cottonwood-filled opening of Courthouse Wash, behind which rises the imposing southern expanse of The Great Wall. It seems to me that such views are the quintessential expression of the Colorado Plateau; not iconic, just red rock in its awesome beauty. Add in some of July's textured stratocumulus, and I can easily imagine Edward Abbey penning, "Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread."

A focal length of 150mm from half-a-mile away gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, given the framing elements and amount of sky I had chosen. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/10 of a second at ISO 200 gave me an overall medium exposure.

The early morning light shining across Entrada Sandstone always seems the suggest that stone is glowing from within.


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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 10 August 2018 13:50 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation. I have always thought that the Park Service did an amazing job of selecting in its decision to include the geologic features that became Arches National Park. For me it would have been impossible to decide where to draw the boundaries, but then my decision would surely have encapsulated the entire Colorado Plateau and would have likely made me Public Enemy #1 to the entire Utah Congressional Delegation: a role I would willingly accept, not that I would wish to fight with anyone, but the older I get the more determined I become to work to preserve the beauty of this great land of ours.
    Hey Kevin. I completely agree with your assessment: Even though surrounded by some of the most amazing scenes imaginable, this view toward Courthouse Wash is the everyday beauty of Arches as much as any view I can imagine. And it was a wonderful day, as well. I'm glad you were with me and even "gladder" that you're going back in September.
    Hi Ray. It's always good to hear from you. Now I begin to understand some of the expressions I find in many of your images: you do architecture justice, my friend. And I really appreciate your thoughts on glowing from within. We are, indeed, each called to mimic Entrada Sandstone in our daily lives; and for a purpose so-much-greater than self-indulgence. If we all understood the greatness that is the gift of beauty, we would never fall short in our caring for nature's creation.
    Howdy, J.Warren; there is only one restriction on your getting in your car and pointing it westward: I have to be in with you. We are both deeply drawn to that sere portion of the globe, and I am convinced that the source of the attraction is spiritual. Walk in Beauty.
    Hey Nancy T.I'm not sure about lighting and clouds following me, but I do confess that I send up a lot of prayers asking to be notified whenever those two elements are going to show up somewhere. I truly appreciate your kind words, and I wholeheartedly agree, there are more stories here than I can count. I'm so glad you noticed those folks on top of the mesa. They were waiting on the judge to appear so the bailiff could call the proceedings into session.
    This tight image of the red rock country is just a simple reminder that beauty can be found anywhere, especially when we are not distracted by looking for it everywhere. Thanks again, Everyone, for being part of this discussion; I am truly grateful to have you all as part of my creative family.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Wednesday, 08 August 2018 12:35 posted by Nancy Tripp

    It seems beautiful lighting and clouds must follow you around. If a painter had created this on canvas, the sky would have been created to compliment the red rocks just as it does in this image with the color, form and texture. The red rocks look like they were sculpted with stairs going up to the plateau near the center. So many stories here! It looks like court is about to be in session. I see a small group of people chatting on top of the plateau on the right. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  • Comment Link jwarrenberry Tuesday, 07 August 2018 10:13 posted by jwarrenberry

    Beautiful! It makes me want to get in the car and head west!

  • Comment Link Ray Foote Sunday, 05 August 2018 21:06 posted by Ray Foote

    Good evening, Don. What a terrific image! As a frustrated architect-wannabe, I love the strong structural framing left and right, the square-ness and solidity all around. Nature's cathedrals are wondrous indeed. And, that "glow from within" can remind us that we are called to glow the same way, whether through art, social action, reconciliation, or sharing how we see the beauty of our world to help others, possibly, open their eyes a bit wider.

  • Comment Link Kevin Desrosiers Sunday, 05 August 2018 09:18 posted by Kevin Desrosiers

    Loved that view! Couldn't have asked for a better day to capture that scene.
    Plan on being there again in September.

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