The Unshared Files: Images That Didn’t Make the Cut III
For the final post in this series (see Part 1 & Part 2) I’ve used images that are both extras and keepers to help illustrate my creative process in selecting a final image. All photos were taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Western Utah at various times of the year. This mysterious landscape is an amazing experience with or without a camera. There is nowhere like it in North America. Endless horizons of absolutely flat earth lay in front of you, sometimes under shallow water and sometimes baked dry. The nearby mountains accumulate snowfall over the winter and the rivers lead to the Great Salt Lake and the surrounding Great Basin desert. The Great Salt Lake has no outlet and all water that makes its way here eventually evaporates into the atmosphere to begin the process again. It is a landscape of simplicity yet so vast and complex it baffles the mind. A photo can’t recreate the experience of being there, or anywhere, but maybe it can do something else. Something that being there doesn’t accomplish. That “something else” is up to you to decide though and not for me to tell you.
Image I shows an interesting scene of color and an obviously dead tree. I have many questions in my mind when looking at this image. There isn’t a single tree for miles near this location, no rivers and it wasn’t placed there. It was encrusted with salt and created a beautiful reflection of itself in the 2″ deep water. Let’s explore this thought a bit further.
Image II shows another perspective of a nearby location and shows the landscape with a bit more depth of field and clarity. The light at the Salt Flats is incredible in the way it reflects off the water or pure white ground. The transition of colors in the sky and the transition of the sky to earth is something one would expect in the middle of the ocean, not the desert. The evaporation of the extremely saline water leaves an infinite display of patterns and shapes making this a photographers paradise.
Taking a similar image and expanding upon the thought of water moving through evaporation, I converted an image to B&W to keep the focus on the strong contrast instead of being distracted by color. I like the simplicity of this image although I wish it wasn’t overexposed in the white area. Oh well:)
Incorporating motion, the transitions of colors, transitions of sky and earth and the endless horizon in one image led to the creation of 4 & 5. There are no distracting elements of the landscape in either image, only light, water and space.
The final image “Sun. Water. Time.” brings all the elements together, except for the dead tree which is unnecessary to my intentions with this image. One additional point with these images is that 2 of them were shot on film with my “new” camera and 4 were shot on a DSLR. Which ones are which? Or does it really matter:)
Thanks for reading,
Sun. Water. Time.
Bonneville Salt Flats, UT