David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Photographs from the American Southwest

This past spring, I embarked on, what turned out to be, a very productive 23-day photo expedition to the American Southwest and Oregon. While I have many images yet to process from that trip, the following are some of the works I have completed during the busy summer show season:

"Winter's Last Stand" - Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

This photograph is among the first chronologically that I captured on the trip. I explored Dead Horse Point and found this scene after a night during which I set up camp in a snowfall. Yes, you know it was a slow spring when leaving Minnesota for Utah in mid-April doesn't take you away from snow!

The remnants of snow resting on the shrubbery were from the last snowfall I experienced this past spring, hence the title. The river seen below is the mighty Colorado River, which carves through the Grand Canyon over 200 miles downstream from here.

Portions of nine different shots were incorporated into this panorama to achieve a wider field of view with high resolution.

"Edge of Dusk" - Horseshoe Bend, near Page, AZ

Horseshoe Bend is one of the icons of the Southwest where the Colorado River, deep within Glen Canyon, makes a nearly 360° meander in the shape of a horseshoe. I was fortunate to be there on a gorgeous spring evening, standing at the edge of a 1,000-foot precipice, to view the sun set over this stunning geologic marvel. Some people seem to experience acrophobia (fear of heights) while standing near the cliff's edge. I didn't — but then again, I kept a safe distance and didn't stand on any questionable ledges. This image was made by manually blending two consecutive exposures for increased tonal definition.

"Antelope Dream" - Lower Antelope Canyon, near Page, AZ

One of my favorite subjects to photograph in the American Southwest is the slot canyon. These canyons, formed by erosion of Navajo sandstone from flash floods, contain some of the most beautiful and unusual geologic formations on Earth, as well as amazing light! Sunlight bounces off the swirling sandstone walls of these deep and very narrow canyons, creating peach, orange, red, pink, and violet hues that are a feast for the eyes.

"Profile of Light" - Canyon X, near Page, AZ

Canyon X is a slot canyon that, in many ways, resembles nearby Antelope Canyon with its smooth and intricate sandstone formations within a deep, narrow chasm. One thing that sets this canyon apart from Antelope Canyon is the lack of crowds, due to its more remote location and the need to hire a guide to drive you there in an off-road vehicle. Due to its location on Navajo land, it is also off-limits to unaccompanied visitors.

 "Weeping Heart" - Canyon X, near Page, AZ

In addition to a knowledgeable Canyon X tour guide, I was in the company of a fine couple from Michigan, who pointed out this distinctive geologic formation. It's interesting how we can find some of the emotions we feel at times as human beings expressed in nature.

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