Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors

If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you know that I love the night sky and nightscape photography.  What you may not realize, though, is that I actually plan my trips around the cycles of the moon so that I have optimal conditions for capturing the sky.  This was the case when I went out to Utah back in July.  My intention was to have several nights where I could shoot the Milky Way in some of my favorite spots in the desert.  That was my intention.  What I hadn’t planned for – or even know about – however, was that Utah and the surrounding desert states have a monsoon season. In July and August.  Guess who didn’t actually photograph the Milky Way in Utah.  That’d be me! LOL  Lesson learned: book your travels around the lunar cycle AND monsoon season!

After realizing the unfortunate mistake, my friend Zach, who had driven out to meet me for said Milky Way photography, and I rallied and decided to make the best of it.  Zach had driven his four-wheel drive truck, which gave us access to places I hadn’t been to yet, and it all worked out.  The monsoons meant cool clouds, rather than crystal clear skies, and some interesting lighting situations.

This week’s Picture of the Week comes from an overlook of the “lunar landscape”, near Factory Butte.  During the daytime, this just looks like a gray wasteland.  There is literally nothing for miles and miles.  During golden and blue hours, however, the landscape transforms into a colorful display of light and shadow, with the gray reflecting whatever color happens to be in the air.  It’s quite gorgeous actually!  Above is a wide shot I got on one particular evening, looking down off the cliff, into the great nothingness.  Below, however, are some color shots from one evening when the lighting was really nice.  There I used a much longer lens to cherry pick scenes illustrating the lines in the desert.

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Factory Butte
Factory Butte, Utah 84775, USA

Alternate Perspective

ˈȯl-tər-nət pər-ˈspek-tiv
  1. A substitute or different visible scene.
  2. Another view or angle.
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors

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