Turks Head Panorama
Turks Head Panorama, Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
The White Rim Road is a 100-mile four-wheel-drive route that circumnavigates the Island in the Sky, a huge mesa in Canyonlands National Park. For much of its length, the road follows the edge of a cliff formed of white sandstone, which gives the road its name. One of the most spectacular features along the White Rim Road is a gooseneck in the Green River that almost completely encircles a squat sandstone tower called Turks Head. I first photographed this location in 2007 during a five-day trip on the White Rim Road. At the time I did not have panorama hardware, so I made single-camera-position images with the widest lens I owned, a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8. Although I liked the images, the composition always felt a bit cramped. Ten years later I returned to this location, this time armed with a panorama kit that would enable me to take in the full sweep of the White Rim and the Green River and produce an image composed of multiple images stitched together that would have double the pixel dimensions of a single frame. By great good fortune the clouds filling the sky just after sunset lit up pink and bounced soft warm light down into the canyon spread out below me, enabling me to make one of my favorite images from the Island in the Sky District in Canyonlands National Park.