Have you ever headed out to a location to photograph with the plans in your head of all the perfect areas and just how things should turn out, but then arrive there and it all just falls apart?  Being focused primarily on Utah scenic photography, dealing with Mother Nature is something that comes with the territory.  And in those dealings there is nothing set in stone.  From the light, to weather, to any other number of things that can go wrong, you never know what you’re getting yourself into when you head out into the wild in the early morning light.

That being the case I have found that it is important to become aware of your surroundings.  What I mean by that is that your grand destination may not pan out, but that doesn’t mean that the surroundings aren’t just a beautiful to photograph.

[frame align=”center”] (Clint Losee)[/frame]

For example, you head out in the mountains with the grandios vision of the most epic sunrise mountain shot ever photographed by anyone.  You wake up at 2:30 A.M. with so much excitement that you just can’t sleep.  You’ve had your camera bag packed for two days in anticipation of this moment.  It just feels like one of those times when something great is going to happen and you’ll be the only one there to capture it.  It’s as if you know a unicorn is going to be there waiting for you as you get to your destination.  Epicness awaits.

However, Mother Nature decides she doesn’t like you this fine day.  The cloud is filled with ominous grey clouds and there’s not even the remote chance of the sunrise peaking through and all that is waiting for you is a squirrel, yes, just a simple squirrel.

Instead of packing it in and heading back home to catch you favorite TV show, try taking a moment and looking around you.  The smaller details surrounding these scenes can hold some wonderful treasures for us landscape photographers.  Tiny wildflowers, dew on the surrounding grasses, and even tiny streams and waterfalls can be perfectly shot in situations that are perfect for other images.

[frame align=”center”]One of many smaller waterfalls cascading down the mountain near Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. (Clint Losee)[/frame]

Lately I’ve tried to train myself into looking for just such options while out in the backcountry.  More and more I’m coming across these little gems to add to my Utah nature photography portfolio and I could never even begin to complain about what has presented itself.

[note color=”#e4f1f2″]Photo Tip: Look down and around when you are outside, no matter where you are at.  Sometimes the tiniest of scenes are staring right at us waiting to be discovered.[/note]
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