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Cottonwood -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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One way to take better pictures is to get to know a place intimately by returning to it at different times, spending many hours developing a sense of how changing light, weather, and seasons work their magic.  I have visited Zion National Park for several years now and have a number of spots I return to regularly.  In the past I have noticed this tree and have always hoped to catch it at the peak of color.  I felt that a beautiful photograph was possible if I could be there at the right moment.  In the fall of 2003 I had good timing as well as the good fortune of excellent lighting and nearly calm wind.  I made the photograph the same morning as The Guardians.  After finishing with the picture I thought, if I took nothing else on the trip it would still be a success.  Little did I realize how much more excitement awaited me.  

What draws me into the picture is the graceful curve of the tree's trunk, and the branching canopy of gold that seems to reach higher, straining to get closer to an unseen force.  Along the way, the tree's beauty intensifies as if it becomes a reflection of that power.  If there is something beyond the concrete world we know, in these moments Nature's creations offer a glimpse into what might be there.  It serves as an inspiration for what can happen when we strive to grow, to change, and become something better.  

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

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All images, text, and design copyright Chris Carvalho.  Reproduction restricted to terms of the Limited Use Agreement.

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