Personal favorites of 2014. Post #3. From The West.

Setting sun at Cape Royal

Setting sun at Cape Royal

 

The western parts of the USA is a landscape photographers dream. Period. From the roaring shores of Big Sur to the breathtaking views of Grand Canyon, this part of the world showcase some of the most beautiful, dramatic and picturesque locations on our planet. California, the Sierras, and Yosemite in particular, is by many considered to be the cradle of landscapephotography. Ansel Adams and other members of group f.64 brought the sheer beauty of this area to the rest of the world and in many ways sparked the environmental movements we see today.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Western USA for one month this summer on a trip that took me to iconic locations like Yosemite and the Sierras, the Pacific coastline, Death Valley, Antelope Canyon and Navajoland, Zion National Park, Joshua tree National Park and of course Grand Canyon. Although I have visited several of these locations before, this trip brought many new images and memories that will stay with me forever. And I will return. Hopefully soon.

The first of my favorites from this trip (top of page) is from the North Rim og Grand Canyon, specifically from Cape Royal. In contrast to the often crowded conditions on the south-rim, I was almost alone here this evening. I had planned this shot for a long time, and was very happy to see the skies clearing just as the sun set.

 

Magic morning, Yosemite

Magic morning, Yosemite

 

Yosemite Valley is known for its amazing beauty. And I must agree. Although I have visited before, I always lose my breath when I drive into the valley and see the 1000 meters tall cliffs with beautiful waterfalls, wonderful forests and the Merced river. This morning I was fortunate to find some morning fog around El Capitan meadow and I walked into the woods below El Capitan with an image like this in mind.

 

Setting Moon, Badwater

Setting moon, Badwater

 

The advantage of visiting Death Valley in summer is the solitude. Although never crowded, I found myself mostly in total solitude when I visited this June. The drawback is of course the temperatures, often reaching close to 50deg C. I have planned my visit to coincide with a full moon, with this particular image in mind. However, the day of the full moon, the light was flat and dull. So the day after, I repeated my 2-3 km walk out on the Badwater saltpans, and this morning the sunrise was beautiful.

 

Copy 1_DAC1707-Edit-Edit

Light in Lower Antelope Canyon

 

The Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon just outside Page, Arizona,  has reached iconic status among photographers. From being mostly unknown as late as in the 1980-ies, a photography session there now is a very crowded experience. I found lower Antelope Canyon to be most rewarding photographically, as there are far fewer people here and the rock-formations are just as stunning.

Hope you like my images, I will be back in one of the next day with one last 2014-favorites post.

 

Dag Ole

To publish or not to publish…?

Watchtower and Virgin, evening glow

The Watchman and the Virgin river. Zion Natinal Park, Utah, June 2014.

 

…thats the question!

The American Southwest is a landscapephotographer’s paradise. Beautiful dramatic land with high mountain peaks, deep valleys and narrow canyons. The wonderful red-orange hue of the sandstone and a beautiful light just adds to the perfection. And it is very accessible! As a photographer, could you ask for more? Yes – that you are the first person to capture this! The only problem as I see it, is that the Southwest has been thoroughly photographed, to say the least. Of course, some places more that others…

Zion National Park in Utah is truly beautiful – and very popular among photographers. The landscape on my image above is arguably the most photographed scene in Zion. Therefore, as I planned my trip to Utah, I was determined NOT to photograph this exact scene, as it has been done so many times before by excellent photographers that it has unfortunately turned into more of a cliché. Every day I spent in Zion, I passed this location several times, and I could not help but to study it and be mesmerised by the beauty of the scene. On my last day there, I finally gave in and had to stop and make this capture. Ok, so thousands of other images very like this one exist, but so what? This one too shows the beauty of this wonderful place, and what the image lacks in originality it compensates for in scenic beauty – or? The question is, should I use it in my portfolio of fine-art prints as it is not very original? Hmm- still thinking about it.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Dag Ole