After having spent the summer and fall of 2022 in various warm-to-hot climates across the western US, we decided it might be nice to cool things down with a few winter months in Kanab, Utah. We'd been through the area a couple of times before and enjoyed our brief visits. And I had these romantic visions of fresh white snow on red rocks swirling thru my head.
We arrived in Kanab on the first Sunday in December, and that same night - it snowed. I woke earlier than usual the following Monday morning to find four or five inches of fresh snow coating pretty much every surface that snow could reach, especially the trees. And the red rocks! Exactly what I had been dreaming about, and we'd only been here for twelve hours!
It was a work day for me (I'm not a professional landscape photographer), and I only had a couple of hours to get out and shoot some scenes before I had to log in to my real job for the day. I gathered my camera gear, hopped in the car, and headed north of town, trying to conjure up the prettiest location in the shortest drive possible.
In ten minutes, I had found my spot; a short, half-mile trail to the Sand Caves along Hwy 89. Steep canyon walls on either side of the highway with snow-covered trees and exposed rock - exactly what I wanted. Except for one thing.
The sun was still behind some very thick and stubborn clouds, and the morning remained very dark. Knowing that things can change minute by minute, I ventured out along the trail, and while I had soft, even light, I focused on more intimate scenes rather than trying to capture grander landscapes.
This tree up against a sheer cliff wall was one of the first things I saw. Ironically, despite my colorful visions of white on red, this image works far better in black and white and conveys the textures of the snow and rock rather than the color.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor