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johnhaymore

Badland Blooms



It’s a marvel how life can flourish given the chance. Such delicate circumstances can lead to unparalleled beauty in otherwise arid lands. These flowers had b...
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It’s a marvel how life can flourish given the chance. Such delicate circumstances can lead to unparalleled beauty in otherwise arid lands. These flowers had been waiting over a decade to sprout up. Their fragile seeds lay just inches below the surface. In contrast to the time is takes for such wonders to come to life, it’s mind blowing how fast it can be taken away and destroyed. ⁣

There’s been many publications recently about the geology and ecosystem surrounding Factory Butte. Many still believe that human caused motor travel will be washed away and erased after it rains, so there’s no harm in opening up the area to cross country OHV travel. This is simply not the case.⁣

Contrary to popular myth and the BLM’s repeated misrepresentations, these tracks don’t simply disappear after the next rain. Photographs taken after historic flooding still show extensive ruts across the landscape. The tracks channel rain water which easily erodes the pulverized soil and deepens the tracks! Driving over the soil also turns it to powder that easily washes away in the rain.⁣

John Dohrenwend, a retired U.S. Geological Survey geologist and professor at the University of Arizona, says the OHV-related damage in Factory Butte is very real. His research reveals accelerated levels of erosion on Factory Butte hillsides from OHV use, and significant damage to the crust on the area's Mancos Shale, which he says could take decades to repair.⁣

The BLM itself has proclaimed the Factory Butte area to be among the “most geologically unique and scenic areas administered by the BLM.” Yet they secretly opened the entire area up to motorized travel without public input to cater towards a single interest group.⁣

Visit suwa.org-?s=factory+butte to learn more about conservation efforts.
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8 Comments | Report
NatureLoverJJWal PRO+
 
NatureLoverJJWal October 11, 2020
I love this colors.
richardpetersen PRO+
 
richardpetersen October 13, 2020
A Great Work ...!!!
JoEldred PRO
 
JoEldred November 10, 2020
Cool picture!
Creule PRO
 
Creule Jan 29
I love the Desert when it blooms! Great photo, I really like the purple colors repeated in the clouds. The balance of color makes the image very appealing. Also thank you for the background of this beautiful Badlands area. Keep up the conversation efforts our children’s, children deserve it.
DAsEye PRO
 
DAsEye Jun 18
Great shot, love the colors and leading lines
johnhaymore PRO+
 
johnhaymore Jun 19
Appreciate all the kind words everyone.
LeeHuang
 
LeeHuang Jun 29
luv the purple in this!
dewaynerawlings PRO+
 
Wonderful capture!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in the Badlands of Southern Utah.
Time
The setting for this photo was early evening, a little while before sunset as a storm was racing by.
Lighting
There was a thunderstorm bringing in micro-burst rain clouds which would dance in front of the sun, causing different areas of the distant butte to light up. The clouds also filtered the direct sunlight which gave the flowers a softer tone.
Equipment
This was shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV, with a 16-35mm f2.8 lens. Sirui tripod, and Breakthrough Photography Polarized filter.
Inspiration
This area of badlands is usually stark, barren, and void of any type of vegetation. For these delicate flowers to bloom, special circumstances have to occur where an abundance of moisture visits this region and seeps down into the ground from the summer of the previous year and continues through winter and into spring. This rare occurrence only happens about once every decade.
Editing
For this scene, I wanted to distant butte to be in focus just as much as the flowers in the foreground, so I used a technique called Focus Stacking. Taking photos and focusing on several areas of the composition, followed by layering all of those images in Photoshop and blending only the sharp pixels together. This result is an image that is in focus all the way through.
In my camera bag
Depending on the landscape I intend to shoot, I'll change out my equipment. Generally, I'll have my camera body, then 2-3 lenses that vary in range from a6-35mm, 24-70mm, and even a 100-400mm depending on the distance away from the subject matter. A sturdy tripod is a must, especially when shooting panoramas and focus stacking. I also pack a pocket rocket to blow off any dust from my lenses and do so regularly.
Feedback
Timing is everything. These flowers only bloomed for a few weeks before dying and completely disappearing. Study the environment you are visiting, weather patterns, and learn about any restrictions the area may have. Planning ahead will help increase the chances of success once you're on location.

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