Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Bryce Amphitheater Glow
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Bryce Amphitheater Glow
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 300mm Nikkor-M f/9 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Bryce Amphitheater Glow

Bryce Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT, 11/11/2006

At dawn on the final morning of an autumn visit to Bryce Canyon National Park I aimed my camera north into Bryce Amphitheater from Bryce Point and waited for the sun to rise. The sky was laced with stripes of dense clouds, but the horizon was mostly clear. At sunrise the clouds began to radiate brilliantly, casting a deep ruby glow upon the canyon before me. I was captivated by the intensely hued light illuminating the famously colored rocks! Below the Pink Cliffs on the opposite canyon rim at center is Silent City; Sunset Point is at far right. The sandstone pinnacles - lining the canyon walls and formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of river and lake bed sedimentary rocks - are known as hoodoos. This word was adopted after a circuitous journey across continents and cultures. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, black slaves of Hausa origin brought with them to the American south a magic practice called hoodoo. The word comes directly from the Hausa language where the verb hu'du'ba means to arouse resentment and produce retribution. Very early in America, hoodoo came to mean jinx or cast a spell. Native Americans of the northwest picked up the word from English-speaking fur trappers and used it to refer to any malignant creature or evil supernatural force. This is how it came to be applied to these strange columns of rock, for they were thought to be evil in the mythologies of many aboriginal peoples. In Blackfoot lore, the unusual shapes were giants whom the Great Spirit had turned to stone because of their evil deeds. Deep in the night, the petrified giants could awaken and throw boulders down upon humans passing nearby. European newcomers to the west heard native peoples' description of these odd formations and translated words from several languages including Dakota and Lakota and used the word hoodoo as the translation.

Bryce Amphitheater Glow

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