|Kayaker, Rock Creek Arch, Lake Powell|
Lake Powell is indescribable. With words, sure, but sometimes also in photographs. The shapes, the scale, the light can be very difficult to convey.
|Man in the Landscape (Gary Ladd), Last Chance Canyon, Lake Powell|
One of the lessons I’ve learned on the lake from my mentor Gary Ladd is to put people (often him) in the image. The placement not only provides scale, but also a focal point since our brains are wired to find and focus on the human form.
|Perspective; Great Alcove, 50-Mile Canyon, Lake Powell. There's a human there for scale.|
Another technique which can be helpful is varying perspective. A wider angle, for example, can give a whole new take on things. I played with 8mm fisheye views during this last trip, and I love the way it shakes things up.
|Cathedral in the Desert at several water levels (2012, 2014, 2015)|
Time is another tool for gaining perspective. After my 2014 Lake Powell trip, I wrote about the way the look of a place can change at different water levels. Since I shot Cathedral in the Desert on each of three trips, it provides a fine example. From Left to right, the water levels are (in elevation above sea level; data provided by the U.S. Departmentof the Interior) 3620, 3575, and 3590 feet.
|"Fat Man's Squeeze," Lake Powell|
Finally, there’s the photographer’s trick of forced perspective. With it we get close to the scene’s foreground to create the illusion for the viewer of being in the photograph.
Glen Canyon Natural History Association sponsors houseboat-based photo workshops in spring and fall (when the lake is uncrowded) for a remarkable price. I’ve often wondered why this trip is not wildly popular and overcrowded, but perhaps part of the problem is that it does defy description. You might want to go and see for yourself.
More images from the recent trip are in the Page and Powell Gallery on skylineimages.net