This shot was taken in the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park, which is about 60 miles southeast of Moab, Utah. Susan found this location while out on an all day hike, and suggested that it might be a nice place for catching the sunset.
I wasn’t sure whether to even go. There had been a storm moving through the area all day—I got caught in one squall that just crept up on me earlier in the day—and it looked like the sun was going to sit behind a wall of high clouds as it descended towards the horizon. When we got there, I waited about 15 minutes while the cloud cover kept the rock and the valley in shadow, and almost left, but figured that it was worth sticking out through sunset. After another 10 minutes or so, I got about four minutes where the sun hit the rock face, but almost always with some shadow patterns, and then, I got lucky with this. The sun didn’t shine through like a beacon, but it still hit the rock’s face fully at a time when the light was beautiful and muted, and the mix of storm clouds and blue sky to the left was magnificent. Susan was right; it was the perfect place to be that night.
By the time we got back to camp, the skies were completely gray, and the rain started in earnest about a half hour later.
This two-image panorama was taken with my Sony RX1RII, with its drop-dead gorgeous 35mm f/2 Zeiss lens[1. My RX1, which was my favorite digital camera of all time, was lost or stolen in January (I’m not sure which, to be honest), and I debated at length whether to replace such an extravagance. I’m glad I did; it’s been my main camera during our travels, and it is with me everywhere.], merged in Lightroom CC, and processed minimally in ON1 Photo 10. If you click on the image to view it in the onscreen lightbox, you can right-click on the photo and check “Open in new window” to see it at 3,600 pixels wide; it’s worth it.