As I wondered the halls of this polished slot canyon, I gazed upwards at the walls, examining all of the details in the stone. This rift caught my eye, a deep vertical geological fissure bisected by horizontal water erosion patterns caused by eons of cumulative flash flooding in the wash. The contrasting horizontal and vertical patterns formed a bizarre and unique design in the stone, and the iron oxidization and erosion painted the orange walls with subtle hues of yellow and purple like splashes from an artist’s paintbrush. Abstract compositions, for me, can hold some of the most nuanced beauty. The eye cannot immediately identify what it sees, catalog it, and move on absent-mindedly as our modern minds are so prone to do. Instead, we are forced to look deeper, to see, to visualize, to imagine. They call us deeper into thought, out of the distractions of our hurried world.
Spending time in these beautifully intricate wilderness places is my favorite part of backpacking out there. Rather than rushing through to get some mythical “shot” we can spend ample time getting to know a place more deeply, and in time grow to appreciate its more subtle nuances and intricacies better. Only then can we create images and experiences that evoke the unique character of a place in ways that casual observation could easily miss. I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know this place as much as I did, and look forward to the next trip of its kind.
Fuji Velvia 100 4x5
Fujinon W 180mm ƒ/5.6
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