Serendipity plays a huge role in most of my photography; this one was no exception. On a stormy end of a winter weekend, I made the hour-plus drive from my home in Moab, UT, to the Needles District of Canyonlands, NP. It is my favorite of the park's three sections, mainly because it was the first I encountered "oh so long ago", long before I made my home in Moab. Not to be cliche, BUT it was and remains my first landscape love.
Storms hold so much promise for the photography I like. Active skies often complement the forms, movement, and emotions I seek to express in the local landscape of rock. Without thinking about it anymore, I seek "equivalence," the visual metaphor that binds the external landscape with the internal one.
I started late, turned off the highway and had not yet dropped down into Indian Creek, which would take me to my favorite land in the entire National Park System. It was a doozy of a storm. Low and heavy. Rain or snow was indeed falling in the mountains, and later both failed in the park. I stopped along the roadside as the mountains were slowly revealed. At first, all was grey, and I almost drove away. Then, called by that mysterious voice I hope we all experience, I assembled lens and body, selected controls to hand-hold, and waited, watching the mountain slowly emerge. It was all so grey still. And then, like a prayer being answered, a small amount of light made its way through the cloud mass. It spread across the frame and was gone within 2 minutes. That was long enough to score a few exposures.
The processing did not require much. I wanted to emphasize the texture of the lit clouds and something about the transitory nature of the mountain's appearance on this stormy stage. A bit of contrast was added in LR, as was dehaze and clarity. I upped the shadow slider to aid the detail in the dark mountains. That was pretty much it. Dark images are all too often thought of as suggesting dark thoughts, sadness or even depression. This was nothing but elation!Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor