Monday, April 14, 2008

They Are Called Scenic Overlooks for a Reason

As you travel throughout the National Parks and the west in general you will happen across many scenic overlooks.

Often photographers will look at them with disdain for being too touristy, but scenic overlooks are scenic. They are also called that and became a famous spot for a reason.

Even Ansel Adams took many of his famous images from the scenic overlooks of Yosemite. Think of a famous image and odds are it has a parking lot full of tourists.

I try to find the out of the way places, but I also stop at the scenic overlooks too. With the right light a scenic overlook is as good or better than someplace off the beaten path simply because you know the scenic overlook is scenic. It really comes down to the light. The right light makes the image. There is also room for interpretation with lenses, composition, etc. but the light makes the image.

Sometimes it pays off to just stop and try the scenic overlook.

This image (yet another with Cerro Castellan) is taken in Big Bend National Park at the "Desert Mountain Overlook". Yes a marked scenic overlook. I stop here on a regular basis. Actually, I stop here every morning in the park. Since I camp at the shady Cottonwood Campground, I often cannot tell what the predawn clouds are like. So, I drive the mile to the overlook, turn off the headlights, get out and look at the sky. The clear view in all four directions help me decide what the light might do and where to go. Sometimes it is go to to another location and sometimes it is grab the gear-this is the spot.

The commanding view from the overlook helps everyday here, no matter if I photograph at that spot or not. I guess you could say I am thankful for scenic overlooks.

No comments: