In the desert southwest, if you drive across the landscape at 75mph most hours of the day you might look around and think it's colorless, harsh, dry and boring...but if you know where to look and you can find the intersection of location and time the where the light is magical then this desolate landscape can come alive, if only for a moment...and with the right trigger finger...beauty can be captured.
Late October, Fellow ApCad instructor Ellie Stone and I arrived on location in Southern Utah to meet 6 eager photographers for several fun-filled days of exploring, hiking and photography. To say we chased the light on this trip is an understatement...sometimes we waited 30-45 minutes for the light to improve, and other times we raced to locations to catch the amazing light as it moved across the desert plateaus.
The locations we visited on this workshop were off the beaten path, in more ways than one. Often we'd drive for an hour on the highway, then we'd take some meandering dirt road (sometimes we said "Is this even a road?!") then with the van GPS noted, we'd trek off into the unknown. Some hikes were just a mile or two, others were 3-4 miles but Ellie and I knew the destinations that were ahead were worthy of the trek.
Some of the best light we captured was on the 3rd morning. We departed earlier than usual and headed from the lodge to the famous mile marker 13...you know it, where Forest Gump stopped running and decided it was time to go home. Well, if you dont know it, watch the move sometime. VERY scenic location and a classic photo op location, especially when the sky decides to blow up! It was one heck of a sunrise, to say the least, and it just kept going and going.
In my opinion, the highlight of this workshop was the long exposure night photography on the 1st night (mother nature only gave us one chance at the stars). The sky was crystal clear in the cooler desert tempertures and some high whispy clouds in combination with a quarter moon created perfect conditions. It was hard to decide when to bring that night to an end as we had over an hour drive back to the lodge, and a very early rise the next day. But hey, we're photographers and we're used to limited sleep!
We want to say a big thank you to Dottie, Sally, Jake, Larry and Ken for joining us for this southwest adventure!
Until next time,
Stephen, Ellie and the rest of the ApCad team!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.