Canyon Walls, Reflected Light. Southern Utah. October 19, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Light reflected from blue sky and sunlight canyon walls illuminates the lower reaches of a Utah slot canyon
On this day I visited — though just barely — an area of slot canyons in southern Utah. I rarely do much advance research when I plan to photograph in a new area, generally preferring to discover the place for myself. This has both advantages and disadvantages. I certainly make my share of missteps and sometimes miss spectacular locations on my initial visits. On the other hand, when I come with few preconceptions I am free to make my own relationship with these places and perhaps I am forced to look a bit more carefully at what I see.
I had a vague plan to visit an area where there are some fairly well-known features, though I did not plan to visit the most popular of them, preferring to avoid the need to special permits and the attendance line-waiting. So I got a map (one without a lot of detail) and figured out where to find a gravel side road to a place with a name I had heard of, and I headed that direction. I parked at another place with a name that sounded familiar, loaded up and started walking down a valley with a good size wash. Soon the walls closed in on both sides and I entered an area of slot canyon. There is much to see and feel in these canyons, but my attention is often focused on the light, which does astonishing things when it bounces down between higher red rock canyon walls. As I came to this spot I was taken aback by the intensity of the brilliant blue tones when open sky reflected on the shiny surface of the rock, contrasting with the intense reddish tones of red rock illuminated by red reflected light, and creating almost sensuous forms in the rock walls.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.
Tagged: , slot , canyon , gulch , buckskin , blm , bureau of land management , wilderness , utah , usa , north , america , desert , upper , reflected , sky , blue , light , walls , curve , stock , license , print , landscape , nature