"Breaking Sky over Cathedral Valley"
TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2019
Cathedral Valley... one of my favorite places in the southwest. One of the reasons I like it so much is because you have to travel quite a few miles down a rough dirt road to get there, which keeps the crowds at bay. I was hoping to have a nice clear night sky while I was in the valley, but as I arrived a couple of hours before sunset it wasn't looking too hopeful. Ominous dark storm clouds filled the sky. As day turned to night the wind picked up and lightning flashed in the distance. I was optimistic that as the night progressed the skies would clear.
I found a nice spot to camp on BLM land just outside the Capitol Reef National Park boundary (camping within the park is only allowed in designated campgrounds), crawled into my sleeping bag and set my alarm for 2:00 AM. After a short 5 minute drive over to the Temples of the Sun and Moon, it looked like MAYBE the sky would start to clear. And, after about an hour of standing at the ready behind my tripod, it finally did. A column of clear sky started to develop directly over the Temple of the Moon. It made for fascinating photos with a patchwork of clear sky anchored on the left and right by lingering dark storm clouds. As happens many times with photography, being in the right place at the right time and being prepared paid off.
Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 14mm
Exposure Time: 30 seconds