Hidden in Plain Sight

A few weeks ago I was out hiking for the day, enroute to a certain destination with the intent to photograph specific conditions. I had been waiting several years for the alignment of proper conditions and free time to get to this location. Needless to say I was focused on this certain subject.

The location was a few hours away and involved hiking in a frigid (15ºF), shadowed canyon. I wanted to stay moving to keep warm, while also maintaining a good pace to reach the destination during the short winter days. All these conditions created an atmosphere in which it would be easy to have blinders, and just get to the destination. Head down and just get there.

There are times when this approach is necessary in the outdoors, times when it’s best to put the camera away and just move. I try not to put myself in those situations when I’m out among Nature though, especially when I’m outdoors to photograph. I usually give myself more time so that I have the opportunity to wander and discover along the way. On this icy day, I had started early in the day knowing there’s much potential for images along the way. I gave myself time to explore while also getting to the destination in plenty of time without rushing either.

It was along the way where I came across this scene, one of rigidity and flexibility, one of linear and organic movement, and immediately set about composing this image. It’s a reminder to me to always keep my eyes open along the way and to not walk with blinders on. It’s so easy to want to get to a location and only turn our “eyes on” when we get there yet this is one of the biggest mistakes we can make as a Nature and Landscape Photographer. So, so often the images which resonate with us aren’t at the destination at all. They’re hidden in plain sight if we allow time to discover them.

Contrasting Movement // Utah 2022


eric e photo

Private, custom and small group workshop info below. Prints are also available for many images on my website.

Eric Erlenbusch // Southern Utah

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