Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Contender Philip Dowling

American Landscape contest Contender Philip Dowling captures the extreme contrast of the American western landscape with his two submissions

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Mount Wilson, CO, Elevation 14,249'

Location: Mount Wilson, CO

When did you take this photograph? September 2012

Nikon D700, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens, Manfrotto tripod and head

Describe how you got this photo.
My wife and I visit this incredibly beautiful region of Colorado every year during the fall .The picture location was taken from a rarely traveled 4-wheel drive road. For years I have said that when the time of year and weather conditions are just perfect this area could yield a spectacular picture. Last year the gods brought together just the right conditions and I was fortunate to capture this scene.

Why this scene of the American Landscape is special to you?

The Mount Wilson, San Juan Mountains region is one of incredibly stunning alpine beauty! During the fall one cannot help but to be overwhelmingly impressed by the deep blue skies, towering snow dusted peaks and flaming fall colors of the changing aspens found here. In my opinion, there is almost no other place in the lower 48 states that can match the dramatic grandeur found here! The West, also, very vividly demonstrates the physical processes that have formed such an incredibly beautiful part of our planet.

Do the photos you entered go together to tell a story, or do you think they work best individually? If together, what story about the American Landscape do the photos tell?

The answer is a resounding yes; they do go together!

The landscapes of the American West, when put into an all-encompassing context, are a dramatic demonstration of co-existing extremes and contrasts, which is what so deeply draws me to this region. Among earth scientists, these high, relatively lush and isolated mountaintops are called "sky islands" because they are an oasis of abundant life surrounded by hostile, spartan deserts. Floral and faunal life in these "sky islands" often develop differently genetically from the next "sky island" as the surrounding deserts act as a barrier to movement between these more lush environments. The two photographs clearly show the extremes that one can discover when traveling through the western United States.


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