My latest travels brought me back to one of my favorite places, Moab Utah. I camped with my brother right in downtown Moab. Each morning I left at about 3:30am and headed up into Canyonlands for a sunrise shot. It’s an incredible place to watch the sun come up. Most of the time it was just me on top of 2000-foot cliffs overlooking the Colorado and Green Rivers.
This particular shot was actually a sunset shot at False Kiva. It is located part way down a cliff, it exact location is kept a “loose” secret to help preserve it. Off to the right of the picture, just out of frame is my brother patiently waiting for the sunset.
When the sun rises at Mesa Arch it bounces light off the cliff and illuminates the underside of the rock.
Adverse weather conditions can be a photographer’s best friend. I headed out mid-afternoon to scout locations for a sunset shot. The weather was bad and turned worse as soon as I hit the mountains. The rain was so heavy you could barely see the road. My wipers were at full speed and rivers of water were streaking across the roads. This went on for over an hour. There didn’t seem to be an end in sight. I ended up sitting in a switchback area for a while just listening to music on the car stereo near a good overlook. Finally the rain let up just enough for me to head over to check out the view. It was spectacular. The rain clouds had briefly moved out and the next wall of rain was approaching rapidly. The weather held for about 15 minutes for me to get this shot. Then the storms came in again and the rain came down again for the rest of the day.
I mentioned earlier that I would much rather come back from a trip with one really good shot than a dozen mediocre ones. Well, I feel like I got that one. The weather was a bust in New England so after a few days of R&R in Pennsylvania we headed home. While in PA I was looking through a book on the world’s incredible trees. One that caught my eye was located on St. Johns Island. It is known as the Angel Oak. Considered one of the oldest living things east of the Rockies at 1500 years, this majestic oak covers over 17,000sf of ground. After a long trip of overcast weather I arrived at the Angel Oak greeted by bright sun and clear skies. Exactly what I didn’t want. The one day I wanted the clouds I got sun. The only way to get the shot I wanted of the tree was to wait it out. Eventually the sky started forming small puffy clouds that would cross in front of the sun for a minute at a time, just enough to get what I needed. This was the shot that made the whole trip. You can see the slightly dappled light on the ground from the sun just starting to reappear from behind the cloud during the exposure. I knew I had the shot. I was smiling the rest of the way to FL.