The Great Public Lands as the Canvas

Finding the Light to make the ArtMarks


We are so lucky to live in a country where so much land is owned by the people. 640 million acres, or about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States is trusted and managed by the federal government. Here in Utah, over 60% of our state is public land. To me this is positive news! I am all for protecting our wild lands and keeping it wild. This untamed land is the playground for the mind and spirit. And there is a lot more here than the “Famous Vistas”.

Red rock landscape, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
View from the Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands NP, Utah

To continue my thoughts from my last blog post, even though I don’t necessarily desire to photograph the “Grand Image”, that famous shot that we have all seen of a classic view, that I don’t want to go to or photograph in these magnificent lands. I find my inspiration in the wild...


I am humbled and at awe when I visit these special places; they are truly a place where you can slow down and learn to see instead of just look, to actually listen instead of just hear. These places are the perfect playground to capture the “light at play”.


Merriam-Webster defines photography as “The art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor)”...producing images by the action of light – I like that!


I have this spot I often visit that overlooks Canyonlands National Park. I’m sure there are hundreds of other spots on top of the canyon rim that would do, but this has become my chosen spot. I can sit there and take a deep breath, listen to the quiet; it is awesome.


It is one of those places where after looking around for a while you begin to see. For me it is a place where I can begin to reflect on the “vastness” of it all, and humbly ponder my place in it.


Part of my art making process is the act of being out in the open land and skies; of being out in the drama. This allows me to find that wonderful orchestration of natural design elements and put it into a single image.


To be able to turn down some unknown road and follow it chasing the light, the texture, the movement, and finding the beauty these elements can create at any given moment is what keeps me going on the hunt. It can happen anywhere, and our public lands give me the opportunity to explore almost endless possibilities.


Hopefully sometime soon you too will have the chance to go and find your own light!

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