©”If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff”
Jim Richardson – National Geographic Photographer
If you really think about this simple quote, it really rings true for those photographers whose main focus is the landscape. That’s why I was always bringing up the point of the presence of clouds in the sky or if the sunlight was being blocked by them. No matter how “interesting” a view is with a bland, boring, blue sky, it is even more so with clouds reflecting the reds, oranges or pinks of the rising or setting sun.
I was fortunate on this trip to stand in front of some pretty “interesting stuff,” and at times, it was made even more interesting with the addition of clouds. The landmark or iconic spots I mentioned almost couldn’t have a bad photograph taken of them; that is why folks would line up every day in hopes of getting that one unique shot of the place when something extraordinary happens there. I was lucky once in Canyonlands when there were clouds that lit up pink at sunset, and again at the Maroon Bells at sunrise when there was a snowfall to add a bit more interest to an already breathtaking view that clouds had already enhanced.
But the big views weren’t the only things to be found interesting, there were so many places and things that were out of the norm from my usual experiences. The Bisti Badlands was like being on another planet or a prehistoric era. The slot canyons certainly were otherworldly in a subterranean way, the lava flows were an immediate connection to a cataclysmic event eons ago and even the plants and trees were different from the those in the east and their surroundings only added to their interest. And the crystal clear views of the cosmos at night really reached my soul.
All these and so many more things made this an “interesting” trip.