November 19, 2014

Swirling Silence

Swirls in Sandstone - Zion National Park

Silence. Such a rarity. I found it late yesterday afternoon in a half bowl of swirling sandstone high atop a ridge in the beautiful chaos of eastern Zion.

I'd scouted the area a year earlier, returned twice this October, and now ascended the ridge late yesterday to make this photograph. The afternoon was splendid. Whisps of milky white clouds floated a crayola blue sky. Despite the cold, the still air coupled with a brisk hiking pace, kept me comfortably warm. When I reached my destination, it was near dusk, the sun's waning orange glow, a gentle kiss on the tree lined tops of the surrounding peaks.

I had to work quickly to set up, focus, and expose the photograph. It was only after, while stowing away the gear, that I became accutely aware of the silence. The land, the animals, the air, all still under a blanket of deepening cobalt sky. I stood there motionless ignoring the radio fuzz of my body, feeling a deep peace, oneness, and, ironically, insignificance. To accept your place in the world, a mere dust grain in an ocean of possibility, is at once humbling and an inspiration.

This ridge and I will see each other again.


It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are.

Paul Caponigro