A cloudy start

A cloudy start

So, after twenty hours of travel – sixteen by air (which includes a seven-hour layover in Seattle) and four on the road – I found myself in colder weather than I had left behind in Anchorage.  Given that my last impression of Phoenix was 100 degree weather in early May, I was a bit surprised.  It got worse when I arrived in my destination of Page, tucked away in the far northwest corner of the state.  I spent my first evening photographing some wonderful tilted sedimentary strata and juniper trees near milemarker 538 on Highway 89, just south of Page.  It was rather bitterly cold and windy, with an unappealing overhanging blanket of overcast sky.  Don’t get me wrong, cloudy skies are not necessarily bad for landscapes.  As long as there is texture in there, it can be made to work.  So, I did what I could to minimize the skies: cropping out the bleak gray as much as possible, while still leaving some sky, and minimizing the “hot spot” of the overcast by using a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter.

The next morning started out bleak.  The plan was to photograph the sunrise down at the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, near milemarker 545, only two miles south of Page.  But I awoke to falling snow, which, by the time I got to the parking lot at the trialhead to Horseshoe Bend, it was thick and blowing sideways.  But, one of my standing orders for photography is to not allow bad weather to deter my plans.  While the skies did not part and the sun did not come out, at least it stopped snowing and the clouds lifted to allow me to photograph the Horseshoe Bend and its features.  The soft light made for some nice, even lighting over the landscape.

These images and more are available in my Newest Images gallery.

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