Story Behind the Shot:
I have visited Snow Canyon State Park hundreds of times during all types of conditions including sunrise/sunset, rain and even snow! This particular September morning, I almost had no desire to get up early to try one more time, however, the thunder in the morning had been fairly intense, so I knew the possibility for something was high. I arrived about 30 minutes prior to sunrise and could tell all of the elements were coming together. Shortly after capturing this image, I literally ran for my life to get back to my car; lightning was striking all around, and the winds were very intense. This particular storm caused record-breaking flooding in Southern Utah and caused extensive damage.
What Inspires Your Photography?
What inspires my photography is being in the outdoors. Photography is secondary to being among nature and exploring pristine wilderness. I enjoy just roaming the desert looking for opportunities that present themselves, sometimes not even capturing any photographs.
How Do You Define Your Style?
I try to take a unique view at any given scene. I will shoot either super telephoto to compress and exaggerate the scale, or I will shoot at super wide angle to add dimension and layers. I rarely shoot grand vista shots, as it is too difficult to capture the Southwest in that style. I love to capture intimate landscape portraits focusing on the fine details. I am very fortunate this competition is taking place during the peak fall colors in Zion National Park. I will be highlighting the hidden beauty in Zion by focusing on the abstract and intimate autumn landscape that this beautiful national park has to offer. www.rjhooper.com
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon TS-E 17mm ƒ/4L
Born and raised in Utah, RJ has always been close to the outdoors. Starting out in 35mm film and then 4×5 film, he has always had a camera with him. Currently residing in Southern Utah, he’s at the front door to some of the most amazing landscapes in the world. Spending the majority of his time in and around Zion National Park, he has become very familiar with capturing diverse landscapes. One hundred percent self-taught, he has had no formal training in photography, and has developed his style through trial and error.