Category Archives: The Grand Landscape

The overview of the natural landscape.

The Castle of Capitol Reef

“The Castle”
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

This was my first stop at Capitol Reef National Park following my stop at the Visitor’s Center. It was mid-day, the sun was bright, and there were no clouds. So what … I started thinking black and white from the start. I walked around until I was able to frame “The Castle” with the two trees.

To me “The Castle” really did look like a castle overlooking the valley below. It was a good way to start my exploration of Capitol Reef National Park.

Temple of the Moon

Temple of the Moon
Capitol Reef National Park, Uta
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Following yesterday’s post, this image is the Temple of the Moon. Looking at both of these “Temples” in the valley and the heavily eroded hill sides on the perimeter makes me wish that a time-lapse camera could have caught the changes over the eons of time. How interesting it would be to watch nature’s elements carve out these natural structures.

As reference, the image of the Temple of the Moon and rising moon on 28 March was taken from the perspective of the small peak on the left.

Temple of the Sun

Temple of the Sun
Capitol Reef National Park, Uta
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The sun was starting to set over the western rim of the valley. I was standing on a small rock outcropping. My focus was moving back and forth from the Temple of the Sun on my left and the Temple of the Moon on my right. The clouds were rapidly moving as the sun was setting, providing different levels of interest and shadows on the two “Temples”. I was hesitant to switch my composition from one to the other. I did anyway…

Tomorrow, Temple of the Moon

Capitol Reef: Temple of the Moon

“Full Moon Over Temple of the Moon”

Sometimes I get lucky.  Walking along the washes between the Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Sun in Capitol Reef, I looked east and saw a full moon rising over the horizon. I positioned myself west of the Temple of the Moon.   I waited over an hour for the sky to darken and the moon to rise above the temple monolith.  While waiting, I thought about the spiritual ramifications that were felt by the ancient native Americans thousands of years ago.   It was well worth the wait.

Capitol Reef: Skyline Point #2

Skyline Point – The Henrys

Back to black and white.  I photographed this image in the middle of my last afternoon at Capitol Reef.  Who says you can’t create a good image in the middle of the day.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  The overhead sun lit up the Henry Mountains as well as provided nice shadows in the valley below.  I had the point all by myself.  It was a wonderful and peaceful feeling.  Looking down at the cliff walls and valley below, I was experiencing over 100 million years of history.  Human existence is pretty insignificant in the scheme of the natural wonders of our planet.  Let us all protect it for future generations.

Capitol Reef: Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue, Purple, Grey

Skyline Point Near Capitol Reef, Utah

I recently completed a workshop with John Barclay and Mitch Dobrowner at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.  This view is from a plateau cliff overlooking a valley 400-500 feet below.  My knees were shaky as I got near the edge.  My tripod saved me.  First, it was a nice brace to have between me and the edge.  And second, there was no way I could have hand-held a shot with my wobbly knees.

My focus for this workshop was to work on my black and white skills with Mitch Dobrowner.  However, when I saw this variety of color, I could not pass the opportunity to share this experience in color.

The view from Skyline Point was breathtaking.  It is a 270 degree panorama of a colorful unearthly landscape.  The point is a sheer cliff falling down to the valley down below..  Approaching the point, one has no idea that the plateau stops abruptly to this scene.   

Alabama Hills #3

Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA

This image is looking due west from the eastern side of the Alabama Hills.  The Sierras still have a little snow.  Notice the difference in the erosion patterns on the Alabama Hills boulders and the the sharp eastern Sierras.  Both ranges were formed near the same time.  Nature does funny things.