Autumn Tempest
Utah

Autumn Tempest

13×33 prints are $2,000
20×50 prints are $4,000

It is extremely rare to come across a dramatic scene like this. When it does, the moment usually comes and goes within a few seconds and the best that can often be done is a “grab shot” with a handheld camera. In this case, the light and drama rolled on and on for about ten minutes, giving time to set up the 8x10” camera and actually make four exposures (of 4x10” size film) of the scene. Of the four, this image was clearly the best one, with it’s dramatic cloud formations and the shape and positioning of the lower dark mountain shadow.

The sun was setting behind me, with the mountain shadow (from the ridge behind me) at the bottom of the scene moving upward minute by minute. The storm was moving over the ridge from the east but the clouds, which were overhead and moving west, did not prevent the setting sun from illuminating the mountainside with golden light.

Once again, this is a photograph that I could not have taken without the assistance of my wife, Ruth. Operating the 8x10” camera quickly is a two person operation, with Ruth helping in many ways. She helps lug the equipment to the site and helps set up the camera, dusts the film holders off before I use them, stops the lens down while I check the focus on the ground glass back, holds the darkslide during the exposure and then writes down the exposure information in the log book.

This is one of those “once in a lifetime” photographs that continues to astonish me every time I view it. The drama, beauty, power, and grandeur of this image continues to fill me with wonder and thankfulness for the gift of life and grace that we have been given in our lives.

Format: Panoramic (horizontal)
Location: Utah
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