We reviewed the photos we’d taken on our first three days at Canyonlands National Park/Needles District. It was our last morning there. Somehow the collection seemed incomplete. We’d missed taking some iconic, “big” scenery images. You know what we mean: the magnificent, striated reddish rock walls under a bright blue sky….
We still had time though. We saved the last few daylight hours on our last day for the task. A ranger at the visitor center directed us to the right place to go for photography at dusk: head for the amphitheater at the campground, then climb the steps up to a rocky lookout facing east.
The late afternoon sky turned dark as we drove through the park. We saw a flash of lightening far in the distance. Our first thought was, “The storm will ruin our chance to take photographs.” But as the sky turned darker and darker, we started to think of the possibilities. Was there any way we could actually capture a lightening bolt in one of our photos? It was worth trying.
We got to the amphitheater and threw on our rain jackets. The sky grew quite dark, and the wind picked up as we climbed the steps to the top of the rocks. It hadn’t started to rain yet which was a surprise. The lightening continued to flash every few minutes many miles away over distant mesas.
We each tried our own method for capturing lightening in a photograph: Joe took panorama photos of the sky, one after another; Beth snapped continuous images of the most likely spot on the horizon.
A few rain drops started to fall, and we decided to duck into the car and head back to the campground.
The next day we reviewed over 300 images taken in less than 20 minutes the evening before – and made a surprising discovery.
Well, it would have been nice to get a few “iconic” shots of Canyonlands, but our photo session up on that rock thrilled us, and those images of lightening will bring back great memories. We’d say we did better than expected.