Central Utah Badlands, USA by Daniel Anderson

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Picture Story

One of my favorite places to explore photographically are the mancos shale badlands in central Utah in the USA. I usually spend several weeks there every year in the fall, hiking and exploring to take advantage of cooler weather and colorful fall foliage. This trip was my first with my Mavic 2 Pro and I was sure this region would be rich with new photographic opportunities from this new vantage point. I have always been fascinated with abstract images and this region exceeded my expectations. I quickly saw that the drainage patterns in the clay beds from this vantage point were something I had never been able to see before so I concentrated on this subject matter.

Driving in this area is tricky due to the clay roadbeds and since it is very remote, the weather is an important planning factor in exploring here. The roads can easily be impassable for days after a heavy rain and I never venture many miles into the backcountry if the weather forecast is stormy. The year prior to this one was so stormy that I never was able to get off the paved roads for my entire trip here. The site of this image would have been a very tough place to hike into plus I would have left footprints in the mancos shale clay that would have lasted for years and years and that was something I have always been careful not to do so the drone was a perfect camera for this area. The character of light is very critical in drone photography and I needed to be here before sunrise to get the even soft light over these drainage beds that I envisioned.

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