Friday, June 15, 2012

Go West II - Snap and Go

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark, western Kansas
  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

It may surprise you to know whirlwind road trips can be a challenge to photographers, or anyone else with infinite curiosity. The temptation to stop repeatedly to explore can be heart rending. I wanted to stop at least 72 hundred times during our adventure... to take a photo, or look at a bird, or a rock, or a yak for that matter.

But we had to press on to see everyone we wanted to see, and visit all the places we wanted to visit. I took pictures when I could. Hence, my road trip photography is of the "snap and go" variety.

"Snap and go" is not especially conducive to good nature and landscape photography, which is often predicated upon capturing beautiful light to set a mood. Yet some subjects are strong enough to endure the snap shot style.

Monument Rocks (or Chalk Pyramids) is such a subject. They are a strange anomaly, towering 70 feet above the endless agricultural flatlands of the Kansas high plains. These chalky formations were sculpted by wind and water. But the layers of fossil rich rock date back 80 million years, when this region was not an ocean of wheat, but an ocean of sea water (talk about climate change!).

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