I shot this scene this past Wednesday. The day was beautifully clear until some hazy high altitude cloud moved in late afternoon. I decided I’d hit up Zion’s east side in search of intricate dried mud throughout the slots and washes. I made my way to a slot that retains water the longest in hopes of fresh mud to work with. I was surprised to arrive to water in the slots as if it rained recently, but I don’t believe that Zion has seen rain in weeks. I pushed on hoping the slots were dry enough to move through, but soon my boots became cocooned in heavy wet mud.
Eventually I hit an area that resembled quicksand, and I knew it was time to head back out and take a game trail above the slot. In time, I descended into an untouched playground of crunchy, partially dried mud. I slowly stumbled my way over the boulders watching my feet for anything that stood out. Near the end of the slot, or as far as I could go, I noticed this little scene of twisted muddy characters among the boulders.
I opted for this composition due to the elaborate floral pattern of mud upon the large blue tinted stone. A bit of reflected light helped warm the scene, and added depth. I initially filled the frame with only the large stone, but it felt tight and in need of room to breathe so I gradually included more of the mud elements on the stones surrounding into the frame. All of these elements helped support the the large stone, yet all had their own unique movement to them as well. To me, the elements balanced each other nicely. I’m always appreciative of any amount of support, I think it’s essential to continuing any art form. It inspires me, motivates me, and often gives me room the breathe as well. Photography in any form is difficult, yet anyone can press a button and capture something beautiful. It’s a strange contradiction I face every time I think about photography and my place in it. It’s easy to get discouraged, but in time support remedies the negativity.