Single-Leaf Ash, Green and Yellow Leaves. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. October 24, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A single-leaf ash in a narrow sandstone-walled canyon begins its autumn transition from green to yellow, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Now, coming back to this photograph quite a while after I made it, I distinctly remember that the gradient from yellow to green of these leaves caught my attention when I saw this small plant growing out of a crack in the water carved sandstone of this canyon wall. I’m often attracted by dark trunks and branches like those on this specimen, especially when they are seen against a background such as this pink sandstone with the patches of darker, lichen-covered rock.
The photograph was made in the same canyon in this national monument where I made a number of other photographs on this same very productive day – productive despite the difficult weather conditions, which were cold, windy, and a bit cloudy. Deep in the canyon and against this canyon wall, the best light is often that from completely clear daytime sky, since that sort of light reflects the best off of the canyon walls and carries with it the warm colors of the rock. Given that this was a tremendously windy day, the lack of leaf blur in this photograph indicates that it was made in a slightly sheltered area of the canyon and, no doubt, by waiting to shoot between the gusts.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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