In praise of place: the dry lands (Part 4)
Having lost our access to free room and board in Ouray, Anne and I decided to travel to canyonlands country in the summer of 2011. I’d last visited the Moab area in the early ’80s, and was excited about returning. I was pretty sure some wonderful photographic opportunities awaited.
We booked a five-day stay at the Castle Valley Inn, a semi-remote and thoroughly charming B&B about 20 miles east of Moab, just off the two-lane that parallels the winding course of the Colorado River.
While the accommodations were intended to be a jumping off point for scenic wonders such as Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, the setting right outside our front door proved spectacular in its own right. Because there really are castles (of rock) in Castle Valley.
I spent a couple of evenings stationed with my tripod a few miles down the road, waiting for just the right light to wash over the pinnacles and battlements of Castleton Tower — hoping for the visual drama of a thunderstorm to work its way into the frame (though that never did quite work out for me).
When shooting late evening light I’ve discovered it’s easy to forget that there are two sides to every sundown story, and that it’s often worthwhile to re-orient the camera 180 degrees. Easy to forget when the last rays of the sun are changing up the light on your red rock subject matter.