Behind the Lens: Factory Butte, Utah, USA

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I visited the stat of Utah for the first time a few months ago and had been like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive in the lead up to the trip.

My partner and I hired a big American style RV and started our drive in LA, crossed a couple of state borders and within a few days found ourselves in the blistering heat of the Utah desert. Most days were a 40-45 degree dry heat (although I suspect it was hotter on the ground).

The Utah landscape is simply out of this world. Parts of it really do look the way you would picture the moon or Mars in your head. At the same time, it varies greatly. Within the space of a couple hours drive, we would see flat desert scenes, then before you know it we were on top of a mountain in a forest that perfectly resembled parts of Colorado, before exiting that into weaving canyon roads. 

This particular photograph is from a remote area in Utah where we spent a night and didn’t see a soul. I made this photograph at sunrise. There was no challenging hike… I simply rolled out of the comfortable RV bed, opened the door and pointed my camera at the butte. It was probably 1.5 to 2 kilometres away from where we had parked.

That is the other brilliant part a lot of these parts of the USA. There is a lot of public land. Land that you are free to camp where ever you please. If you are a citizen, you are an owner of that land. It really is brilliant! I only managed to shoot 3 exposures of this momentary great light. The sun was rising behind me, and as its first warm rays reached over the horizon, they lit up the butte face starting from the top and working their way down. This wouldn’t have last for more than 30 seconds. It provided a stunning gradient of contrasting colours.

I would love to return here one day with a little more time to explore… but I guess thats the way most trips go! 

Sony A7R III, Sony 70-200mm F4 lens @ 200mm. 1.3s @ f16, ISO 50. 

About the author: Dylan Fox is an award-winning Australian Landscape Photographer based out of Perth. Having always loved to travel and witness nature's finest moments, it was only a matter of time before he started capturing them in the form of photographs. His aim is always to capture photographs that provoke emotional connections. For Dylan, the photograph must tell a story and truly captivate those that see it. In 2016 he was awarded first place in the nature category at the international black and white photography awards, has been a finalist in the ANZANG awards for the last three years, and a runner-up in Capture magazine's emerging photographer of the year competition.


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