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The Guardians (Zion National Park, Utah)

 

The Guardians -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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In the fall of 2003 I returned to Utah to visit familiar places and see new ones.  I always spend a few days exploring Zion National Park because of its unique combination of light and spectacular scenery.  Early in the morning I was walking up a canyon and saw an oak grove with the red leaves of some maple trees adding a colorful accent.  Though I have been to this spot before I was unable to find anything worth photographing previously.  Wandering from the trail, I came upon a campsite and a large sheet of plastic that had been left behind.  I picked it up to take out of the area, and when I walked back to my pack I saw this grouping of trees.  The light was perfect and they were arranged in a way that made me feel astonished at their beauty.  Suddenly it seemed as if I was walking on holy ground.  

In complete awe, an hour later I had exposed ten sheets of 4x5 film while watching the light change.  Many exposure times were from 30 seconds to a full minute.  Fortunately the air was completely still and not even a blade of grass was moving most of the time.  I could not believe what I had just done, seeing such an inspiring landscape and having the perfect conditions to make a photograph that communicates the reverence I feel for this place.  The trees in this print appear like guardians protecting something near and powerful, yet unseen .  

This special morning was only beginning.  Later in my hike I came upon a cottonwood tree with golden leaves and a graceful form and made another photograph, once again being guided by something near and powerful, yet unseen.  I could not view what lay beyond these oaks, but on the film is evidence of something there that touched me spiritually.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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