The Colorado Plateau of Utah is simply spectacular. It features vast stretches of multi-hued sedimentary rocks, deeply layered, uplifted, folded, fractured and finally carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries as it makes its way south from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California in Northern Mexico. Arcing its way through this geological wonderland is Utah Scenic Byway SB12.
After visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, I drove this beautiful route toward Moab, Utah. Near the town of Boulder along the Burr Trail lies a hidden yet stunningly beautiful sandstone slot canyon known as 'Singing Canyon'. The canyon walls tower 80' high, richly colored in red, purple and pink hues. At its mouth is a cluster of cottonwood trees, nestled along a wash that separates the slot canyon from the larger main canyon that contains it.
I spent a fair amount of time in this isolated, wondrous place. It was late morning, but the canyon's walls shaded the floor from the early November sun. After shooting several abstract compositions within the canyon, I turned to make my way toward its entrance. I saw that the sun had moved just enough to backlight the cottonwoods in a brilliant blaze of yellow. In addition, the S-shaped trunk of the largest tree provided a sinuous form as it snaked its way from the canyon floor toward the rim high above.
I composed a shot that would frame the foliage within the red walls of the canyon, which were also glowing in reflected light. I was particularly attentive to the picture's exposure, carefully capturing some shadow detail while not over-exposing the highlights. This image was the result, and one with which I am very pleased.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor