Top images from 2012

Top images from 2012 and a little info behind their selection.20120102_Whites Valley Utah_020Above: Whites Valley in Northern Utah. An introduction to a different western landscape and the beginning of my exploration Northern Utah and Idaho. Looking forward to exploring the gem state in 2013 and have 4 trips planned already.

Simpson Springs Station.

Above: Simpson Springs Station on the Pony Express Trail in the West Desert of Utah, from a journey I’ll do again this year with the UXOC. This is a beautiful and remote area that I’d love to explore more, maybe pulling a camper from Moby 1.Preston Grain Silo

Above: Preston, Idaho on a sunny Sunday morning January 2012 and the start of a project looking at small western towns and structures that define place. In this case it was the grain elevator that defined entering Preston and unfortunately it was destroyed by fire a month later.Downey Idaho

Above: Weston, Idaho and another grain elevator. This one looks particularly church like. I revisited Weston in December and the sign and pole have been removed. Time moves on even in small towns.20120413_Mantua_027

Above: Mantua, Utah spring 2012. At the time I took this the space reminded me of Iceland. Looking at it now it is nothing like Iceland, trees for starters. Maybe it was the really green treeless hills and the rain snow mix of weather. I’ll settle for exotic looking and not what you expect for a Utah landscape. FWIW locals pronounce Mantua as “Man Away”.

Road along the Bear River

Above: Near Cutler Reservoir early spring 2012. Jetsons-looking power pole in a barren landscape carved by man for irrigation.Beef Basin

Above: Near the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Trying to get a feel for how massive these formations are (look at the fence at the base).20120805_Floy_Utah_008

Above: Ranch Exit at Floy, Utah. Grey lumps in the barren landscape just north of I-70. Composed in a way that excludes the book cliffs and any of the red rock that southern Utah is famous for. People have commented on the texture of the grey earth looking elephant like.Driving the desert of Southern Utah

Above: from the base of the Book Cliffs looking toward Moab, Klondike Bluff and the Manti La Sal Mountains. From a solo trip to Moab in early August 2012.20120804_Onion Creek Road_048

Above: Onion Creek Road near Moab. Look for more images from this area in the coming year. Lots to explore and photograph. This was taken on my first trip on the road and as it was getting dark I made my way back to the main road. Not being familiar with the road, alone, and without additional illumination on the Xterra. Why risk driving off the road in the dark? 20121021_Caribou National Forest_039Above: Open road on Skyline Drive near Weston Canyon in Caribou National Forest. From a day of photographing open roads near the Utah-Idaho border in late October and my last trip on this road before it was closed for the season. As I was taking these images I came across three moose; a nice way to end a day of solitary photography. Work kept me busy the rest of the year and so this is where my 2012 season of photography ended. Looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

Thanks to everyone who liked a post, made a comment, nominated me for an award or became a follower of Looking at the West.

Red Rock Pass

Researching one of my favorite areas in Cache Valley (Bear River Narrows) I came across Red Rock Pass. It is at the northern most end of the valley and the site of the cataclysmic event that partially drained the ancient Lake Bonneville. Located about an hour north of Logan, it is one of my favorite new places. The hazy light really brought out the red colors in the rock.

Looking South toward Caribou National Forest. The white on the poles is wind blown snow from earlier in the day.

The above shot looks at the western side of Red Rock Pass. The large hole above the corral looks like a mouth, above it an upturned nose and eyes. My lens could not fit the entire scene in so this is stitched from 5 exposures. On this first trip we returned to Logan via 15 South, took the first exit (Utah 36) Deep Creek Road and Weston Canyon. See my post Rolling Hills for a view of that area.

A few days later the weather improved and I headed up to Red Rock Pass to photograph the area in better light. Above view from the bend in the road. Very different light than the first visit. Stronger contrast and feel for the height but loses the subtle colors of the hazy image. This time I took S Back Red Rock Road and photographed the power transmission lines that I had seen on the first visit. Below view looking south across Red Rock Pass. The power poles below that look like giant pins are double circuit 345 kV lines.

With clearer skys to the North I traveled a short distance to Downey Idaho explored the small town on foot until it was dark. I returned to Red Rock Pass on my way back to Logan. Hoping for a patch of clear sky to illuminate the area as it was full moon. As I waited a short time before bailing do to it being cold, very windy and very creepy. Put it on the list of places to revisit in different weather. Definitely worth the effort to exit I15 drive and drive a few miles to check this location out if you are in the area.

Looking at: Downey Idaho

Downtown Downey Idaho April 2012. Two classic brick structures define the main intersection of this small farming town (population 613) in southern Idaho.

Old Downey Theater sign says “opening soon Laurel and Hardies.” The two story structure is called Hyde Block and it houses the town’s market It features an ad for Mountaineer Overalls with Stop Loss pockets.

The best image from the shoot includes a dilapidated two-story building, a grain elevator, a bar with a log cabin facade, and a variety of other single-story buildings.

Cunningham Implement and Downey Lumber bathed in orange street light.

Grain Elevator, Preston Idaho

One of my first excursions when I moved to Cache Valley was a visit to Preston, Idaho. A famous place here in the valley as it was the setting for the film Napoleon Dynamite. Upon arrival from the south one of the first things you see is a large grey tin sided grain elevator. I liked this one because it looked so humble. Logan has a few and they look somewhat industrial though at a much smaller scale than those seen on I-15 in Ogden. In the afternoon, the time I’m usually in Preston, the grain elevator is back lit and thus I had not photographed it on my first few visits. This past January I was testing a perspective control lens that I had rented for a job and thought this grain elevator would make a great subject. A little over a month later the grain elevator caught fire.

Video clip linked from Youtube user hullhollyjo.

Technical info: Top image captured with the Nikon D300s and 24mm PC-E lens (from Borrowlenses.com), post fire images D300s and 45mm PC-E lens. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 4.