The other Devils Garden

I suppose that one might consider Devils Garden as an icon of Arches NP, which it is, and I’ve been there a few times. There are others too. But this one is in Grand Staircase Escalante, a few miles south of UT 12 not far from Bryce, off Hole in the Rock road, an unpaved washboard route. A couple of slot canyons are accessible nearby. Ian Plant first clued me in on it, and I’ve revisited a few times since. There are a number of interesting formations there, including Metate Arch, and the times I’ve been I was the only human there.

I shot this quartet of hoodoos in May 2011 just after sunrise from both left and right sides. Each have their merits but I liked this one best.

Olympus E-3 Zuiko 50 F2 on tripod, ISO 1/50 f/5.6 0.0EV, close to full frame.

I invite any suggestions or comments.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
1 Like

Bill, thanks for sharing this one. I’d only been here once and got rained out, sadly. I did get a couple shots in but nothing quite as nice as this one. I hope to return at some point for a follow up.
And yes, an unpaved washboard road is what I recall very well. It was of concern with the downpour of rains and flash-flooding in the area.

It looks like ancient statues… Cool. I keep expecting one of those to move!!
Nice light, too.

Hi Bill,

I like how you placed the stone towers off and away from the center. This adds a lot of interest in the comp. Cool lighting as well. I’d leave this image as presented…Jim

A great collection of “statues”, Bill. The grazing sun adds some fine, warm highlights. Sounds like a neat location, with few visitors. I think this looks great as presented.

These formations make me think of the heads on Easter Island. Very cool location. I don’t see anything necessary to improve the image. Nice one!

These guys are so neat. They’re the gnomes in Snow White marching off to work. I think this is a good perspective for them as it shows them ‘in line’. This is one of those images that is so suggestive that I would go with what it suggests rather than as hoodoos. It’s very nice.

I agree with the other comments made. Interesting subject. Just a suggestion I might try cropping some from both the top and bottom and making it more of a pano composition. This really puts the emphasis on the rocks.

Bill, I think that the color and contrast are spot-on. The composition also works. I would like to get the full tree on the right, but I am familiar with the constraints of the 4/3 format - if you do that then the hodoo on the left moves too close to the other edge. On the other hand the contrast between the pointy juniper and the pinyon pine in front of the rocks is a really cool detail.

I appreciate the comments, gang. These formations are fun to shoot from different angles, and at different times of day and night. But there are a number of others nearby that can make for good imagery in varying lighting angles.

Paul, I can imagine the challenge using LF shooting there. It was easy for me by comparison in dry weather. The ten mile road to the site is bone jarring at slow speed, so best to just haul ass and float over the washboard surface hoping to stay on the road.

Like Genny, Thorsten and Igor, I particularly liked the anthropomorphic aspects. I think Ian Plant indicated that these were called Grumpy old men, but who knows?

As to different aspects, I framed this with a view to printing at 10x13 aspect for an 11x14, and the 4/3rds works quite well for this. For composition options, I have another frame with the hoodoos on the left, and so I’ll post that one next.