Storm Light in Utah’s Desert Lands

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Mid-April provided some very interesting light and clouds in central Utah this year. I had been to speak at the Moab Photography Symposium, and had to drive to Salt Lake to leave my car and fly to northeast Ohio to teach a workshop before rejoining my car and continuing my road trip. I took Highway 6 off Interstate 70, and diagonally veered towards Salt Lake, through a dry desert area of basin and range topography with buttes, benches, and washes. Under normal sunny conditions, it’s rather bland for photographs, but this day was different. Storms were building on the mountains, and curtains of moisture drifted down to earth. The dappled light was really interesting and I made several stops to photograph. But this one spot was a favorite – the light illuminated the foreground nicely, and dappled highlights across the other parts of the scene. The layers really excited me and I knew it would make an interesting black and white image. In color, the hues were beige, gray, and brown, mostly and just didn’t cut it. But the contrast was great for black and white.

I used to call myself a ‘color photographer’ – and I do dearly love working in color, with a wonderful range of hues, but black and white was at the root of my photographic study and beginnings. At time has passed, I’ve enjoyed re-awakening my ability to see in monochrome, something that takes an effort when your eyes are attuned to the colors of our world.

Enjoy,

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Brenda Tharp
Brenda is an award-winning photographer, author, keynote speaker, workshop instructor and tour leader. Her acclaimed books include Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography, and Extraordinary Everyday Photography.
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4 Comments

  1. fpga June 14, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

    Hard Black and White, it’s a nice result

  2. Sue perse June 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    Really beautiful!!! What luck to have great storm clouds. Love the different shades in the photo. Utah is amazing.

    • Brenda Tharp June 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

      Thank you, Sue. Utah is amazing, I agree.