On a recent trip through parts of the Southwest US, I had the chance to photograph sunrise at Dead Horse State Park outside Moab, UT. When you are on a long road trip, you often don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a few days for the light to be right or to find the perfect location. You only have a small window of time to operate. Sometimes the weather and place just don’t line up like you expect.

Sunrise on this wonderful morning was shrouded in a pretty heavy cloud layer. There wasn’t much color in the sky or golden colors lighting up the canyon walls 2000 feet below. As I stood there waiting for the light to break, which it did about an hour after sunrise, I spent much of that time looking for something to photograph. There are these amazing trees that live along the canyon rim. Weathered by storms, heat and the harsher environment of the desert, these trees speak with a wisdom and understanding much greater than you can find in most conversations with people.

As the clouds started to move and part with the rising temperatures of the day, I found myself in conversation with this wonderful tree. After a few moments of silence, I was able to make this wonderful portrait of a new friend. To honor the new found relationship, I printed this image in platinum/palladium for the wonderful tones, textures and depth that I think honor the tree.

The image was taken on a Nikon Z7 using a 14-24mm lens. The image was then converted to a digital negative which was used to make the final print. If you want to learn more about platinum print or digital negatives you can always check out my workshop page.