As previously mentioned, our local guides for the get-together in Moab were both from the Denver area, so most of us flew there and we drove to Moab along I-70. The first place we stopped to grab some photos was here, at a simple rest stop outside Vail, Colorado. I kind od wish the trucks weren’t there, but otherwise this worked as a very nice opener to the trip.
I confess that I was unfamiliar with the use of the word “recession” in photography until two days ago, when I viewed this blog post from Dave Wilson, and I noticed that he tagged it with the word “recession.” For a moment I thought “what the heck does this have to do with the economy?” But then I clicked the “recession” tag link, and although Dave had only one other image with the recession tag it became immediately apparent what effect it refers to. If you do not know or cannot guess, it is the layered effect of different shades of light and color in an image. Although I had never heard of it, I was nonetheless familiar with the look, and had in fact created several images with the look during the same trip as Dave. I also now know that the complete term is “tonal recession,” which at least differentiates it from economic news.
This shot is from Mesa Arch, looking out over Canyonlands National Park, maybe 20-30 minutes after the sun appeared over those peaks in the distance. I will post an image or two from that moment some day, but this is a nice start to the series of images from that morning. Mesa Arch, by the way, is very busy at dawn. We awoke at 4 am, were out the door by 4:30, and yet when we arrived the place looked pretty much like this:
To be fair, it was actually just a bit less crowded than that when we arrived, as this includes a couple of folks from my group, but you get the point. And from what I gather it looks like this pretty much every nice day around dawn, and especially so on weekends. My tripod was set up just to the right of this little image. By the time I took the primary image above the area had cleared out. Our group of 7 comprised the only people left there, and we were able to move around and in and out of the arch to get a variety of photos. The one above was taken hand held, which made it easier to move around for different looks, and the tripod did not add that much value in full daylight.
So we wake up just past 4 a.m., intending to go to Marlboro Point in the Canyonlands. Unfortunately, the combination of the early hour, the lack of sleep, no light, and unmarked dirt roads prevented us from finding our way there. I’m bouncing around in the covered flatbed of a pickup truck with one of our two local hosts, Rick Louie. The other local guy is Justin Balog who was up front driving. They’re both from the Denver area* and have been to the Moab area parks before and did an absolutely fantastic job organizing this weekend for everyone. But at the moment, they cannot figure out exactly how to get to Marlboro. Our opportunity to photograph at dawn is going to come and go pretty soon. Finally, one of them says “whattaya say we cut our losses and just go to Dead Horse Point.” The other agreed. I just hoped that Dead Horse Point wouldn’t be a disappointing substitute, and then we get there and see this. I can only imagine what Marlboro Point must look like if this is cutting our losses, because this might have very well been my favorite spot in the entire trip.
* Apparently, local covers a lot more ground out West than it does here in NYC.
While I’m naming names and linking links, the other photographers on the trip were Mike Crisswell, Robert Lussier, Chris Nitz and Dave Wilson. That’s Bob Lussier in the shot above, and as it happens, he posted a somewhat similar shot of Dave at Dead Horse Point in his post today, in that both shots use one of our fellow photographers to provide a focus point and sense of scale to the image. Bob went with a black and white treatment, but I had to go with color take advantage of Bob’s orange vest, which both stands out and yet blends nicely with the beautiful tones of the canyon. Thanks for coordinating that Bob.
Wow. I’m back from an amazing, busy, intense and very fun weekend of shooting with some great friends in the area around Moab, Utah. So many photos to review, edit and eventually post. I pulled this one because I thought I could get it ready quickly last night but I actually spent more time than expected on it.
I have lots to say, as well, but not now. Family, work and the rest of my life call right now. So about this image I will jus say that you’ve seen this scene before, in countless photos and several movies. Those architectural-looking structures are the Fisher Towers, viewed from the side of Route 128 in the Colorado River Basin between Grand Junction, Colorado and Moab, Utah. The snow-capped peaks in the rear are the La Sal Mountains.
There’s a likelihood you won’t see a new post for almost a week, probably next Tuesday. I’m heading out on a photo-trip to Moab, UT with some photo buddies, so when I return there should be lots of new material of subjects I have not covered before.