House on Fire, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

On a trip targeting the Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area in New Mexico, I ended up in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah.

Why? Two reasons.

First, 3 days of sand and dust storms (even stones were in the air) provided an unfavorable New Mexico greeting. Second, Bears Ears National Monument has some great photo subjects.

This image is of House on Fire in Mule Canyon, Cedar Mesa. Late in the morning, the sun reaches the red rock below this ancient Puebloan granary, creating a warm-toned light that reflects up into the massive rock overhang. That warm light color combines with lines in the rock to create the look of a raging fire over the ancient building.

Photographers chose a wide range of editing choices for this subject, some including red color tone emphasis and wild saturation. The chosen concept is typically to make the flames appear intense, and personal preference or audience preference rules (unless processing for a client).

I opted to process this image using the cloudy white balance setting, cooler than the shade option technically right for the scenario (6500k vs. 7500k), with a bit of vibrance (+30) to bring out the richness in the colors.

House on Fire affords a wide variety of compositions. To fully cover the focal length range potentially desired, I carried two awesome zoom lenses, the Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM Lens and the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Lens.

Primarily, the 12-24mm lens met the needs, delivering this corner-to-corner sharp image in a single shot.

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