Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Dark clouds over mesa

with 28 comments


On October 23rd of 2016, after I photographed red leaves among black trunks and leafless aspen trees and some other things, we drove back down Kolob Terrace Road to the town of Virgin and headed west on Utah Highway 9. Before long I stopped to photograph this mesa with dark clouds.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM

28 Responses

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  1. Nice picture!


    March 8, 2017 at 5:52 AM

  2. Love the sky

    Sherry Felix

    March 8, 2017 at 6:45 AM

  3. You’ve certainly captured drama in this shot!


    March 8, 2017 at 6:52 AM

  4. Astonishing! It looks like the end of the world.

  5. What a fantastic picture!


    March 8, 2017 at 9:20 AM

  6. Great composition Steve! What fantastic drama and the mostly monochrome of the sky against the bright warm colour of the rocks is perfect 🙂

  7. The contrast visible in the clouds is intriguing. If I looked up and saw such a sky, I’d begin paying very close attention, despite the patches of blue. The image holds together so nicely. The pattern of erosion on the mesa pairs well with the clouds, offering mute testimony to centuries of falling rain.


    March 8, 2017 at 8:34 PM

    • In spite of the sky’s foreboding appearance, we got no rain from it—at least not then. The following day, however, the gloom spread over to the Valley of Fire and did turn into rain.

      That’s a good observation about the rain implied by the mesa’s pronounced erosion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 9, 2017 at 9:33 PM

  8. This comes across as a seamless meld of a color with a monochrome image, except for the unexpected patch of blue sky. Love your choice of composition to showcase that fascinating skyscape.


    March 10, 2017 at 2:47 AM

    • I hadn’t noticed the mostly monochrome upper portion contrasting with the normally colored lower part, which you and one other commenter picked up on. In contrast, I was conscious of the composition, which needed to be vertical to play up the dramatic clouds as much as possible.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2017 at 9:51 AM

  9. That is one amazing sky!! It really enhances the mesa


    March 10, 2017 at 8:17 PM

  10. Hey Steve .. such a great shot! 😃


    March 11, 2017 at 6:50 PM

  11. The sienna variations of the sandstone is radiant against the dramatic dark clouds. Right place, right time. Wonderful shot, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    March 21, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    • Thanks, Steve. If I’m going to do dramatic landscapes, the Southwest is the place. What a difference from Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 21, 2017 at 6:51 PM

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