In praise of place: the dry lands (Part 6)
The Fisher Towers are one of the more striking erosional features visible from the Colorado River valley NE of Moab, Utah.
When Anne and I decided to spend our summer vacation in the region last year, this was one of the localities I intended to spend some time photographing in late evening light, as the approach to the sandstone spires is from the west — out of the setting sun.
I spent two late evenings setting up in different locations trying to get the essence of the place, and ended up not being entirely satisfied with the results. It is a difficult setting for sundown shooting as compared to, for instance, the nearby Castleton Tower — primarily because it’s such a vast collection of spires spread out over such a lengthy stretch of broken terrain.
It’s a dilemma between getting too close as opposed to setting up too far away — the surrounding landscape is not conducive to unobstructed viewing. (How inconvenient of you, Mother Nature!)
Additionally, I was not presented with the hoped-for lighting conditions — the skies were not forthcoming with dramatic clouds, and ended up being generally rather washed-out looking. But in exotic locations, we take what we can get, and I did the best I could.
Amazingly, these seemingly crumbling sandstone spires are a climbing mecca — the rock being more substantial to foot- and handholds (and bolts) than it seems. The first climb of The Titan — at 900 feet, the tallest freestanding sandstone spire in the Western Hemisphere — was accomplished by Layton Kor, Huntley Ingalls and George Hurley in 1962.