“Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains”

Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains., Arches National Park, SE Utah (c) Mike Utley

NP25-1(S)—Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains, Arches National Park, SE Utah.
Arches National Park is famous for its many natural arches (more than 2,000 of them, making it the world’s most dense concentration of natural stone arches), but it also contains an abundance of monoliths like those shown in this image. I liked the juxtaposition of the orange desert rocks against the snowy La Sal Mountains and deep blue sky. Arches National Park is a perfect location for stunning natural beauty and contemplative landscapes. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

21 thoughts on ““Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains”

    1. Thanks, Lamittan. You can find rock climbers scaling many of the pillars in different areas of the park. It looks sort of fun, to be honest, although I prefer to have my feet on the ground! 😀 This area is an outdoor enthusiast’s wonderland. 🙂

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  1. what an expression of your life and and the way you are living it: The blue sky and snow-clad mountain is your life (blue sky) and your source of inspiration (snowy mountain). the two monoliths: the one on the right is your hand waving to the prospective, and the other one is a “thumbs up” : your appreciation of your life! Love your photography!

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    1. What a cool sentiment! I didn’t see the hands in the pillars until you mentioned it. Good catch! Your metaphors are always spot-on. I love the concept of the sky as my life and the snowy mountains as my inspiration. That “thumbs-up” pillar on the left is a brilliant interpretation. What stood out to me most when I made this image was how this little cluster of pillars was alone in a sage-covered plain just off the road and no one bothered to see it. Everyone in Arches National Park wants to see arches, but this grouping of sandstone pillars really spoke to me. There was isolation and loneliness present, but also a vividness to the colors and a strength and endurance of ages as these rocks outlasted the centuries. I became instantly fond of these pillars. Thanks for your enlightening comments. 🙂

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  2. They actually look like hands with straightened and curled fingers. That’s what hit me immediately. The colors are beautiful and the contrast is amazing. I like the play of shadow and light. A lovely picture. Amazing! 🙂

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    1. Northern Elm mentioned this resemblance to hands in a previous comment, too. It’s funny I didn’t see it until you and NE brought it to my attention, and now I can’t unsee it! If I recall, this was taken in the month of March in the late ’90s. One thing I love about very early spring and late fall and winter is the low angle of the sun during the day, which adds depth and helps the colors pop more, as opposed to the directly overhead summer lighting which also contains a more bluish cast and spills shadows at the subjects’ feet, making for drab, flat midday photography. I love the color palette here as well. Oranges and blues really create a dynamism in an image. But yeah, those sandstone hands! So cool! 🙂 Thanks, Terveen, for your nice comment. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Kirsten. Sandstone textures vary, for sure, and one thing I’d always do when I was out shooting was to feel things to get a better sense of their meaning or significance, if that makes sense. Sandstone, tree bark, leaves, river water, flowers…just a way to connect more deeply with what I was seeing. Photography conveys the visual aspects of a subject, but there’s so much more (feel, smell, sound, emotions). I really enjoyed placing my hands on the sandstone and feeling the solid grittiness and the heat. It felt alive and energetic during the warm days and bone-cold after losing heat in the evenings or in winter. (I could certainly do without gnats and mosquitos and ticks and horse flies and all that stuff, however!) And yes, that endless blue sky…this day was a really good day. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Xenia. I love this aspect of any sort of art. People see things in different ways and it makes it such a personal experience. I have an acorn image on my blog (Poetry menu section) that many have people have interpreted as meaning a variety of different things. The funny thing about the acorn image is I was simply attracted to the textures and colors and had no deeper meaning associated with it in my mind when I made the image. It’s fascinating how people interpret something in so many different ways. As for this sandstone pillars shot, I definitely see the hands now that a few others have mentioned it. Thanks as always for your kind words. I appreciate it. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Rhyan. This area has some surreal landscapes with deserts, mountains, canyons, ancient archaeological sites and farmland all squeezed together. It makes for some amazing juxtapositions of random elements. It’s an interesting region for sure. 🙂

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