Mesa Arch sits 1,200 feet above the Utah desert, the Lasal Mountains in the distance. In winter–the best time to shoot there, in my opinion–those peaks sit snow-covered and veiled in evening lavender colors as the sun sets in the distance. On this evening, clouds on the horizon lit the sky even after sunset, illuminating the arch and the vast layers in the distance in broad crimson and purple brush strokes. It was one of the most magical moments I have experienced in the outdoors, and making a strong image was icing on the cake.
I returned from the great American Southwest late yesterday, over 3,000 miles and 11 days in my pocket. My students and I held communion with some of the most spiritual and visually stunning places imaginable, such as Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, and Arches. It’s an excellent way to be reminded of what magical places sit at our doorstep here in the West.
The image above was one of the first I made: a winter storm beginning to clear over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes shivering beneath the cold and wind of the clouds.
I leave for the Southwest in three days, and will pass through some placed I’ve known nearly all my life. Chaffee County is one, and this image is one that evokes deep nostalgia in me for the rush of a creek I long to hear.