Camera: Fuji X-T1
Focal Length: 500mm (reflex)
A little while ago, I visited Robert and Ann at Stray Arrow Ranch and we took a little side trip into Capitol Reef National Park, an amazing and under appreciated national park. Along the way, we stopped off to see an amazing collection of petroglyphs made by the Fremont people from 600-1300 CE. These petroglyphs can be seen on a large cliff, right next to Highway 24, just East of the Visitors Center in the park.
I wanted to get as much detail as possible from these petroglyphs, but also wanted to respect their integrity, which as you will see below has not been a goal for all people who have visited this rare slice of history. All of these images were made with a 500mm telephoto lens in order to stay far away and a Fuji X-T1 camera which gave me exquisite detail. In the above image, you can see the different kinds of techniques the creators of this image used to render the figure.
Those sharp holes you see are the stone that has been chipped out from bullets fired at the petroglyphs. I don’t know when those were made, nor some of the other graffiti that can be seen on the panel, but some of it is in modern history which is tremendously disappointing.
The full resolution image of the above mosaic can be downloaded here to get a feel for the texture and detail. Hopefully, these images will give you a feel for what can be seen with a short trip to the National Parks as well as communicate some of the wonder I always feel when seeing art that was rendered perhaps 1,400 years ago. It is a view to another time and place giving you a sense of what it might feel like to witness a civilization made alien and remote through time and space. Hopefully art like this brings us closer to those who occupied this land before us and gives a sense of respect for the people and the land.