When I visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah I had to find a way to make sense of the hoodoo chaos. It is quite amazing to behold such a vast landscape with so much detail.
I asked myself what the main attractions were in the grand scene. I like to give myself some time to consider my subject and what I want to say about it before I start photographing so the images have more impact.
In this case, I decided the main attractions were the texture of the rocks and the overall scale of the scene. Because I wanted to emphasize the texture I needed to photograph when there were some shadows.
Normally my favourite time to photograph is during twilight, but without direct light the texture would not have been as visible and the effect greatly diminished. I made the image about an hour after sunrise. At Bryce, I found the best time to photograph was an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset when the sun was still high enough in the sky to cast shadows, yet low enough in the sky to produce softer light.
With hoodoos all around me, I started hiking on the trails seeking groups of hoodoos that made a pattern or ones that I could isolate from all the others. I needed to make order out of the chaos.
In the scene of Fairyland, below, I really liked how the hoodoos behind the lone tree resembled a house without a roof, baring each of the room’s walls. It almost looks like a castle.
Also at Fairyland I found this small grouping of hoodoos that I could isolate from the others.
Next time you are photographing a landscape with a lot of detail, think of making order out of the chaos by finding patterns or isolating a small part of the scene.