Arches NP, Moab, Utah, USA by Bruce Hucko

Picture Story

When winter storms descend on Moab and Arches NP, they often leave a dense layer of fog. When this happens, the local landscape is transformed from its already rather alien appeal to another, even more alien and removed from the rest of the world. The moisture-laden air substantially muffles the sound of traffic on the highway and even people in the nearby parking lot. The endless array of weathered, tilted and angled sandstone rocks that make up the landscape of Arches NP are now made singular, each separated from the others by the density of air.

Arthritic junipers become characters, often rimmed with a bit of frost, formed in the cold morning light. Light itself is diffused, almost directionless. It can be disorienting. Into this soup of singular subject matter steps the photographer. The joyous challenge of working in this particular environment is to find a pleasing assemblage of line, form and shape to organize into a workable composition. The color palette is muted, depth smoothed by the fog and made immediate. I can see less than a hundred yards.

I like these conditions for the intimacy with singular or small group subjects that are created. If not for the extreme cold I could sit and visit this place all day. This rock and singular juniper occupied me for a while. Make them separate or overlap? Deepen the exposure to suggest the cold I was feeling or go light and atmospheric, as I was feeling that also? In the end I settled on this. Solid objects ascending into air.

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