For a number of reasons this might be one of my favorite images I captured while on the NxNW2015 trip back in June. It’s not the most awe inspiring landscape that you have ever seen, heck, it’s not even close to the prettiest landscape image you have ever seen. But this image of steptoe’s shadow does a great job, IMO, to demonstrate just how important good light is to an image.
If you are a landscape photographer you have heard how important it is to shoot your landscapes at sunrise or sunset, what is know as the golden hour, and that really is true, nothing will destroy an otherwise gorgeous landscape than flat light or even worse, harsh mid-day light.
What really drew me to this scene, and why I made this image, and more importantly why I am sharing this image, is in one click you can see the profound impact that quality of light has on an image. I captured this at sunrise, facing west, with the rising sun at my back. The cone shaped shadow you see is the shadow of Steptoe Butte itself. The upper corners have that gorgeous golden light that you would expect in a landscape image, the shadowed cone is the utterly flat light that lives in the shadows. The contrast between the two types of light really can’t be missed.
I am not sharing this image in the hopes that people will find it to be amazing art, or even a pretty picture, but I am sharing it in the hopes that as a photographer you will take into account the quality of light that you are shooting in and use it to your advantage. With that said though, while it might not translate into a stunning image, it was actually quite stunning to witness in person.