Situated between Capitol Reef to the west, the Henry Mountains to the south, the San Rafael Swell to the north and the San Rafael desert to the east. This butte is a popular spot for both Photographers and OHV (off highway vehicles). This situation has created a conflict of sorts as the landscape has tracks through it. This causes a challenge in the hope of getting a pristine photo of this location.
The most common method of photographing this beaut of a butte is from the air via a drone. From the air the tire tracks are plain to see. It takes some time to repair the photo by cloning out the tracks.
This is a scene that I have been wanting to photograph for a while now but with this being a pretty common location for landscape photographers, it’s a little difficult to create something unique.
I had the opportunity to go there last week to photograph this area, including Factory Butte. Because I only had a couple of days there I didn’t have the epic skies that I had hoped above this landscape.
I brought this photo up and decided to try to process it into something, anything to justify the time that I spent there – and the time spent repairing it. I took a lot of time working on the foreground but when I was done that plain, blank sky stared at me. I almost hit delete.
Now I have always said that the reason people will drop in a sky is because their time is limited and the time spent at a location didn’t produce the results that were hoped for. This was the exact situation that I was in with this image. As I sat there carefully brushing out tire tracks that blank sky taunted at me.
Once I was done with the foreground repair I saved the file and then decided to play with some different skies and boom. I saw this.
I have always said that if a photo is a composite I’m just fine with it as long as the artist is honest and transparent about it being so. I’m not one to criticize a person’s creative expression. All I ask for is honesty.
And so in my attempt at transparency, I explain the process that I went through to create this image for you. This is a composite of two images combined to create the image that I had hoped to create naturally.
I hope that you enjoy it for what it is.