Lake Powell truly has to be one of man’s greatest gifts to mankind. Sure, there are probably quite a few people out there who will disagree with me and angrily detest the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, but I for one consider it one of the most beautiful and spectacular places on earth. I recently returned from a trip down there with my family. I must say–we’re quite spoiled when we go down. House boat, ski boat, blah blah blah. Hey–I’ll take it, and love it.
Typically, a Lake Powell trip is all play and no work, but lately I’ve foregone a morning or evening ski here or there to go make some (hopefully) striking and memorable images. While it’s no fun to miss out on the fun, I’ve found that “fun” is a relative term. This trip was plenty “fun” with one evening of simply unforgettable light. I always hope for interesting skies when I go down to Powell (or anytime else I’m shooting, for that matter) Although the landscape is sufficiently jaw-dropping in its own right, it never hurts to add some dramatic clouds, spotty, 3-D lighting, or diffused sunset light. I found just that (pretty much all of the above) on one particular night down there. Most importantly, as always–I was out and about with my camera. I didn’t have a particular shot in mind–I just knew if the light came, I could find something.
Sure enough, just before the sun hit the horizon, it poked through the clouds, casting deliciously warm light and long dramatic shadows on the desert scene in front of my lens. I frantically searched for a foreground element, and quickly settled on a patch of hearty yucca plants. I continued to fire off frame after frame, anxiously studying the composition and exposure on my LCD screen to make sure I was capturing “it”.
Later, as the sun dipped low behind the red rock cliffs, the sky lit up with an ethereal magenta cast. What was intensely golden just minutes ago was now painted in mysterious pink, red and violet hues. What a night! So–while my siblings were out enjoying some “fun” on the lake, I was no worse off clicking the shutter on one of the more memorable Southern Utah evenings I can recall.