Slate Canyon, Utah, USA by Jeffery Hudson

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This specific tree has tortured me for months. This beautiful pine sits in the middle of Slate Canyon, Utah, USA just two miles away from my home. I hike this canyon multiple times a week, and every time I would pass this tree I would desperately try to photograph it and its stunning location. Frustratingly, no matter what I tried, whether it was changing angles, climbing canyon walls, or coming at different times of the day, nothing could seem to capture just how picture perfect this tree sits. One Sunday afternoon, a friend and I decided to go take a hike in the canyon; there was no thought of this tree, or motivation to even pull out my camera… essentially I had given up on this composition altogether.

A few hours into the hike we noticed the sun was starting to set behind the mountains, and the most powerful colors of red and orange drowned out the sky around us. It was in that moment that I remembered that tree, and that the conditions may finally be perfect for this image. We ran about a mile down the canyon trying to make it to this tree in time before the sunset was bound to disappear. Somehow, instead of the sunset quickly fading, it kept magnifying as we were sprinting to this location. When we made it, I quickly pulled out my camera and captured the image. It didn’t take long after that for this sunset to dissipate altogether, giving me a strange feeling of relief as I began to realize I had finally captured the image that I had chased for almost six months, after nearly giving up. It was a lesson of patience and persistency that I will remember moving forward in my photography journey.

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