Bryce Canyon ~

It isn’t easy to take a truly bad picture of Bryce Canyon, but I managed a great many mediocre ones. These are the best of the lot. At Bryce we reached our highest elevation in Utah; we wouldn’t be at 9,000 feet again until the return trip through Colorado.

 

Zion National Park ~

I first saw Zion Canyon as a child, and it remains the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. When my companion and I arrived in early May, though, the weather was rainy and foggy, with clouds obscuring all but the very bottom of the canyon. It was still beautiful, with many flowers blooming, the just-leafed-out trees along the Virgin River a tender, bright green, and the red rock of the canyon walls backdropping everything.

The next morning we took the shuttle up the canyon (due to its popularity, this park has been forced to limit vehicles on the canyon drive for all but the winter months).  As the day went by the clouds gradually lifted, but the sky remained mostly gray. We walked the Riverside Walk, a paved trail along the Virgin River, down to the The Narrows, where the river becomes the “trail” because the canyon walls are only about 20 feet apart. The Narrows was off-limits this day due to the high water; hikers sometimes die in this wilderness area because of flash flooding and swift currents. Toward sunset we hiked the Canyon Overlook Trail at Zion’s southeast corner. Without my companion’s help up and down the steep, rocky path, which was sandy, damp, and slick, I could never have made this hike. The view rewards the effort.

Salt Valley ~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The colors in the soil make this landscape view at Arches National Park into an abstract. I turned a rectangular shot into a square in order to crop out two far-off bits of roadway, which were barely noticeable but which I thought detracted from the abstract effect. I didn’t add any saturation, but I did oversharpen this a little to enhance the “dots,” which are tiny shrubs.

All about light ~

Albedo-P4020007Albedo-P4020008

Here are two details from “Albedo” (2010), by Osman Akan. “Albedo” is a two-story-tall sculpture installed in an open area of the parking garage at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It’s made of dichroic glass panels affixed to long, vertical, curving steel tubes. As the identification sign explains, “Albedo is the measure of how strongly an object reflects light. It is an important concept in climatology, astronomy and computer graphics—a relevant combination of disciplines for the Gardens and for Akan, whose art specializes in the physics of light.”

At 3 p.m. on April 2, the sculpture was casting teal shadows on the wall behind it. I didn’t get a good photo of that, so I need to go back. It would be interesting to document how the color and intensity of the square panels change throughout the day, how they vary from sunny to cloudy days, and how they alter over the seasons. I also want to take photographs of this sculpture from which I can isolate even smaller details. I find the colors and the overlapping forms almost hypnotic in their effect.