The sandstone layers that comprise the extraordinary geology of Zion National Park are believed to be the remains of the largest sand dune desert in Earth’s history. Within the literally thousands of vertical feet of sandstone there exists a single layer not more than one inch thick (that may be a generous measurement) that appears to be volcanic in origin. This layer, when uncovered in flat horizontal mass, primarily in sandy washes, reveals exceptional form and texture.
The photograph here is an iPhone snap (of dubious fidelity rendered with heavy manipulation in Photoshop). It was taken late yesterday evening in poor light. For me it’s just a “scout image”, something I discovered while freely exploring, taken and stored for future reference to hopefully remake with the big view camera and film. Printed on Ilfochrome, a print should wonderfully express the subtle detail and tonalities.
The only challenge, I’ll need rain. I sprinkled the stone with water, the only method I found could render the stone’s gorgeous texture that is otherwise blunted by wind, water, and heat. The stone reminds me of an exceptional piece of sanded wood who’s full expression requires a clear varnish or oil. In nature’s terms, that means rain. Which I should have a good chance of in the next few weeks. And, hopefully, fortuitous timing.