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Saturday, 14 March 2020 18:10

Somewhere Above the Goblins

One hundred and Seventy (170,000,000) million years ago, a vast inland sea covered what is now South-central Utah. Over time large deposits were laid down along the margins of that body of water. Eventually, those Jurassic deposits were exposed and weathered; one of them, the extensive Entrada, eroding to create the fabulously sculpted hoodoos of Goblin Valley. Overlaying the Entrada are three other great deposits: the Curtis, the Summerville, and upmost of all the Morrison. Where the Morrison has shown itself to be more erosion resistant, it has become the caprock for the great buttes of the Lower San Rafael Swell, Wild Horse Butte being a singular example. Wild Horse Butte looms over the nascent goblins of Entrada like a silent sentinel keeping an eye on all of its children.

A focal length of 112mm gave me the somewhat narrow angle-of-view I wanted and a bit of magnification, as well. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/6th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure in the waning afternoon light.

The great geologic displays for which Utah is so well known are on full display in the Lower San Rafael; and while the beauty of Goblin Valley seems safe from development, the lands that surround it are known to be flush with ores coveted by the extractive industries. The Bureau of Land Management oversees these wonderful landscapes for us, and our voices should be heard and heeded above any corporate interest when the fate of these lands is on the line.

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6 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Thursday, 19 March 2020 17:41 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon Everyone. Thank you all so very much for joining me for this conversation. Although I do not wish in any way to make light of the current crisis we face as a society, I cannot help but think of the words of an old Jewish (although some say Chinese) curse, "May you live in interesting times."
    As I write these words (Thursday), my Beloved is somewhere over Colorado on her way home from Seattle, the same Seattle that seems to be pretty near the epicenter of the crisis. She went on a mission of urgency in the lives of family members, and she returns in the legitimate status of an angel.
    Hey Brother John. It is great to have you with me. Thank you for joining me for this service. I hope you will feel free to return again and again. I am honored and deeply appreciative of the great work you do on behalf of all of us with respect to Rocky Fork State Park. What you and Frances to is, in my mind, the exact work that we should all undertake on behalf of our Public Lands. I hope everyone will visit the site, https://rockyforkjournal.com/tag/rocky-fork-journal/ and join in the effort to protect this amazing place. Hope to see y'all soon.
    Hi Kev. It's always great to have you with me. I truly appreciate your kind comments and the description of the elements you have shared. The implied diagonal line was something I hoped everyone would notice, and I'm very glad that you have. The shadows, as you know, are nothing more than contrast, but they serve to create exactly the result you have pointed out. As you also know, the desert is a very "textured" place, and revealing texture is a wonderful way to construct an image. I'm sure we will work out of our Maine conundrum, and I'll keep you posted as it unfolds. Be well, my Friend.
    Hey Charles. I hope you have been well and are preparing for an awesome spring of creativity. There are so many places in the Southwest where the strata are so well-defined that they contribute to a textural revelation that does, indeed, seem to increase the depth of the scene. The rocks of Goblin Valley are just so; I'm very glad that they spoke to you.
    Hi Rosemary. Thank you, as always, for being with us and for adding your thoughtful sentiment to our conversation. If we do not learn to stand up for our Public Lands and the beauty and soul-satisfying peace they provide, our children's children will not look kindly on the acts we have undertaken in the name of materialism and profit.
    Howdy Michael. I have been thinking about the "Ocean State" lately, so you must have been on my mind. I hope all is well with you. I am honored by your kind comments and pleased that I can offer you some positive memories of places we both love. The warm-cool tonal contrast is one that you always recognize so quickly, and there is no better place to see it than in south-central Utah. Thanks for pointing us to the fact that it is the light - in this case some great afternoon sidelight that gives us the highlight-shadow contrast we mentioned earlier. May your New England spring in 2020 be wonderful.
    Thank you all, again, Everyone. The Vernal Equinox will occur at 5:58p.m. tomorrow (March 20) May we all be blessed with beauty and good health.

  • Comment Link Mike Di Stefano Tuesday, 17 March 2020 07:24 posted by Mike Di Stefano

    Howdy Don, when you post images from the southwest you bring to good place I’ve seen before and a wealth of memories that fill my soul. I love the warm tones of the earth working in harmony with the cool blue tones of the sky. The time of day with the strong side lighting maximizes the texture and 3D sense of this image. Keep them coming.

  • Comment Link Rosemary Benson Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:55 posted by Rosemary Benson

    I agree. Keep the profiteer developers out!

  • Comment Link Charles Dildine Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:31 posted by Charles Dildine

    Amazing clarity. The saturation of the colors are do very real.definition of each Jurassic rock layering is so distinct. And the depth of field brings the entire scene into a feeling that I am actually there. Thank you for your photographic expertise.

  • Comment Link Kevin Desrosiers Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:13 posted by Kevin Desrosiers

    So many things work for me in this image. First is how you had enough depth of field to capture the textures, not only in the rocks, but in the clouds as well. Really like the shadows in the rock formations. They add depth. Also enjoying the diagonal line formed by the tops of the rock formations. Very well composed and exposed. Thanks!

  • Comment Link John Beaudet Sunday, 15 March 2020 10:01 posted by John Beaudet

    Thanks for inviting me to worship with you this Sunday morning Brother Don.

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