I’m still trying to hack away at the backlog of images that seems to be growing. Not a bad problem to have at all. I came across this shot and thought it would make for a good lesson to share here with all of you.

I took this shot in August, while visiting some salt flats near Saltair, Utah with +Nicole S. Young. As you could see, the sun was running away at an alarming clip, so time was not a luxury that either of us had. I wanted to capture the vastness of the area but I also felt that it was lacking in interest when I tried to shoot it as a barren landscape.

So, I scanned around and saw this dried out tree stump. The fact that it had this tiny branch growing out of its top was a little bonus. I knew that I had found my anchor. I felt that a shot as desolate as this one needed to be broken up with an anchor – a dominant element in the foreground that the eyes can return to when they get fatigued or bored of the rest of the scene.

I placed it in the lower left quadrant of the frame because it aided in the overall flow of the image. I tone-mapped this shot because it would be impossible to convey the full dynamic range of the scene without it. Stylization and cleanup was all done in Perfect Photo Suite 6.