I got lucky on this shot of Turret Arch framed through North Window in Arches National Park. This iconic location is a tough spot to come away with original compositions, but with a little personal vision and a helping hand from Mother Nature anything is possible. First of all, the classic shot is a horizontal composition with north Window filling the frame and Turret Arch in the center. Add in some bold first morning light and you’ve got yourself the classic icon shot. For me, I pre visualized a vertical comp going way wide and a prayed for some interesting clouds above. To my delight, the cloud shape formed a perfect V pushing the eye back down into the image and refocusing the viewers attention on the main subject, Turret Arch framed by North Window. I also included a bit more of the bottom of the arch as well to create a sweeping C curve formed by North Window.
Behind the Rocks bathed in sunset light under the La Sal Mountains from Poision Spider Mesa, Moab, Utah
I made this image on the last night of another epic western trip to Colorado to shoot wildflowers and monsoon light and then a brief foray into Moab to work some desert light before heading back. On this fateful eve, myself and fellow photographers Alex Mody and Chris Kayler took Alex’s tricked out 4×4 monster FJ up onto Poison Spider Mesa to shoot this not so iconic location from a spot about 2/3 of the way up the mesa. The trail was rough and involved some serious rock crawling and super technical 4×4 maneuvering to get to our intended spot. Arriving with a couple of hours to spare before sunset, we decided to venture onward and upward towards the top of the mesa. The road continued to deteriorate, but we landed safely on top with no problem, or so we thought!!
As we turned around at the top of the loop and began back down on flat and smooth packed dirt, we felt the truck buckle and bounce on the driver side. Thinking at first we had hit a rock or were perhaps dragging something, Alex stopped the truck to inspect. To our horror the axle had snapped at the joint and the tire was buckled under the front of the car. Now that was an OH SHIT moment for sure! With no other options, we put on our backs what we could carry and began the long 5 mile walk down the mesa to the trail head where my Element was parked. Not being able to get to our original shooting location in time, I settled for a telephoto comp as the light broke and bathed the fins of Behind the Rocks in glowing red light for only moments before the sun disappeared once again behind monsoon clouds on the western horizon. As we made our way down the trail in the gathering darkness, I was struck by the unconditional beauty and unforgiving nature of the desert and just how lucky we were to have broken down on this evening in the the land of burning rock and big sky.
I am happy to announce our first Creative Visions workshop for 2010 in the rugged and beautiful canyon country of Moab, Utah. This workshops shooting locations will take place in Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point and other slickrock locations surrounding the Moab area.
Looking to take your creative expression to the next level? Creative Vision Photo Workshops are designed to challenge you to reach new heights with your nature photography. Join Creative Vision instructors Ian Plant and Joseph Rossbach on an intensive, multi-day field and classroom instructional workshop that will help you create photographs you’ve always dreamed of making.
Arches and Canyonlands National Park contain some of the most breath taking scenery in the United States. Chocked full of hundreds of natural arches, slick rock canyons, balanced rocks and wild vistas this 5 day workshop will explore the very best these two locations has to offer.
The dynamic forces of wind, water and geologic upheaval have created a landscape of extraordinary beauty and have left for us a plethora of photogenic treasures. We intend to visit as many of them as possible during visits to Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point State Park, capturing the textures, contrasts, and surprising formations of this high desert region.