26 Photos - Nov 12, 2011
Photo: I just realized that I had a folder of images from Buckskin Gulch that I took back in March which I hadn't processed so I'm digging through them to find what's there. It looks like I was fascinated by the textures and play of light against all of the amazing forms which are found in this canyon.Photo: Ok, I know that this photo has been taken a million times. On this evening I didn't hike to Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park, to get an original photo but rather to share this wonder with my seven year old son. He's been dreaming of taking a photography trip with his dad. So, when his spring break came around a couple of weeks ago, I surprised him with a short trip to Utah to see some of the iconic sights around Moab. He joined me with his own little camera and we had a great time together. Many times the photos we take are not about the subject themselves but about the memories they evoke and the people with whom we shared the experience.Photo: Every spring I make a short trip down to the Desert Southwest for a bit of rest prior to the start of our manic summer season here in Estes Park. This is an image that I shot last May on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. There is something magical about the way the light dances off of the rocks in this part of the world.Photo: One of my favorite locations in Utah is at the base of Factory Butte. The scenery is dramatic, the sunrises can be amazing and best of all is that there is a profound silence to the place. Often all you can hear is your own breath and the beating of your heart. The stillness is one of the most healing things I know. It helps me to unwind and to remember that which is most important in life.Photo: On my first visit to Antelope Canyon I was determined to try and find a different view in this amazing and iconic location. As I came around a corner this woman of stone appeared to just jumped out of the wall. I suppose she is one of the guardians of this world where stone and light dance together. This week I'm heading back down her way again to see what else she and the surrounding desert have to share.Photo: Photo: I just returned from a week in the Desert Southwest celebrating my 20th anniversary with my wife. I didn't do a great deal of photography during this trip but every now and then I managed to take a few images. I shot this image a few days ago in Zion National Park. In my opinion it is one of the most stunning parks in the nation.Photo: Photo: This is a fun little scene that I came across in a Utah canyon last week. The bush on the right is just beginning to put out a few leaves, hence the light green tint on its top.Photo: One of the places we stopped on our recent trip to the southwest was Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. The color of the sand is fabulous and contrasts so well with the blue skies out there. All the time we were there we kept thinking what fun our 7 year old would have digging in the sand or rolling down these hills.Photo: Virgin and the Watchman

I've seen many views of this iconic mountain and really wanted to find a different view that hadn't been photographed before. It took a little searching but I'm happy with the results. This is the Watchman in Zion National Park with the Virgin River bubbling below it on a beautiful spring evening.Photo: I love the amazing shapes that sandstone takes. This wonderful material seems to be made for reflecting light in dozens of hues and shades.Photo: Buckskin GulchPhoto: Pillars of the Night

This morning I've been playing around with the new Lightroom 4 beta on some of my more challenging images. It takes a while to get re-oriented to how the new controls work but then you realize just how powerful and wonderful the changes are. Because of the great contrast between the dark night sky and the moon lit rocks in this photo it was a tricky one to process with LR3. It involved making a lot of careful selections with the adjustment brush and took a lot of time. However, with LR4 beta it was actually very easy and fast to make the same adjustments. It took me just a fraction of the time that it had previously and it came out looking a lot more natural than my previous version too. I'm looking forward to the LR4 full release which I'm guessing will happen this spring. #PlusPhotoExtractPhoto: Somehow, the simplest things always seem more beautiful when surrounded by adversity. Perhaps it is because only in these conditions can their truest form be seen.

2008 © Erik StenslandPhoto: Desert SouthwestPhoto: Milky WayPhoto: Zion National ParkPhoto: arizona sunrisePhoto: Sandstone Convergence

This is a very narrow slot canyon in central Utah. There is barely 12" between walls in many places such as this, making it difficult to move around and especially to take photos on a tripod. I love the way the texture pulls you in and then leads you into confusion as you try to figure out which wall is in front and which is in back. Photo: This is a very narrow slot canyon in central Utah. There is barely 12" between walls in many places such as this, making it difficult to move around and especially to take photos on a tripod. I love the way the texture pulls you in and then leads you into confusion as you try to figure out which wall is in front and which is in back.Photo: Christ in the DesertPhoto: I'm not one who is easily scared, but on one of my nights camping amongst the dunes I certainly was. A large storm came in and pelted the area with rain, high winds and lightning for nearly 6 hours. I didn't get much sleep that night and was so grateful to see the storm finally pass by just before dawn. 2013 ⓒ Erik StenslandPhoto: I just returned last night from a nice 1,600 mile drive with my 9 year old son. We visited a lot of beautiful places including Buckskin Gulch which is probably the longest and deepest slot canyon in the world. Here's an abstract shot from the canyon. What you can't tell from this image is that you are looking at about a 50' section of wall here.Photo: This last week I took my 9 year old son to Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado. It was fascinating to see something of this well-developed civilization that lived in the surrounding cliffs nearly 700 years ago.Photo: Have you ever spent a night in the desert? The silence is amazing and if you are far enough away from city lights the stars shine ever so brightly. On this recent night, my son and I enjoyed a warm peaceful evening far from the madding crowd. In this photo the moon peers over a sandstone arch. 2014 ⓒ Erik Stensland