When you're out with your camera trying to decide on compositions, do you ever stop in your tracks and say "I just HAVE to photograph that!"?  This has happened many times in my years as a landscape photographer. In the beginning, it was rather infrequent. This was because of lack of experience and experimentation. I simply didn't know how to make a scene look great on my little two dimensional piece of paper that I got back from the developer. Yes...that was called film! 

I didn't really understand in the beginning, that switching to a wide angle lens would emphasize distance and create space. Nor did I know that using a telephoto would compress my scene and bring elements visually closer together. When these skills are learned, and preferably practiced (yes...you have to practice), you start to see the world a little differently. You start to pick up on possibilities before even raising the camera to your face. You start to look at objects not just for their obvious traits, but for their relationships with the objects and light around them. So when I was working with my photography students in the Narrows of Zion National Park, even though the day was getting long and we were all exhausted, I stopped at one point and said..."We simply have to photograph this wall! I'll kick myself all the way back to Charleston if we don't photograph this wall." But to simply take out a 50mm lens, which is considered the range at which things look "normal" to us, would be a disservice to this wall. It needed to be shot wide angle. I'm sure my macro lovers would spend hours photographing the minute details...and I wish I could have too...but when you just have a couple moments, emphasize the awesomeness of the scene by stretching that wall further than it actually was. A wide angle lens will accomplish this. Draw the viewer into the scene by placing it at an angle and increase the apparent size of the foreground by getting close to it. My 10-18mm (Sony a6500 1.5 crop) was the perfect tool for the job, and conveniently, the only lens I brought. Hey...this is a tough hike...carry light!

I think it was worth the stop on the way back. What do you think?

Narrows Wavy Wall lg.jpg