Toadstool is an immersive, overstimulating experience. Most of the designated hiking path carries you along the streambed, the waters of which have carved a narrow miniature canyon amid the clay and sandstone that compose the walls and sediment hills. At most points, it is a complete panorama of otherworldly geologic chaos. It is beautifully cluttered. To try and make any sense of this in the two-dimensional medium of the photograph is a challenge. Or at least it was for me. After most clicks of the shutter, a quick review of the LCD image confirmed exactly what I had feared—that the dynamic scene before me had been retold by my sensor as static, had lost depth and dimension, had failed to show scale. Simply put, I was not doing the place any justice with my photographs. So I decided to slow down and to look for simple scenes whose compositions were interesting to me.
The image below is one of the few that satisfied me from our first afternoon in Toadstool, not because of its representation of the place as a whole or because it overcame the problems discussed above (it does neither), but simply because of its balance, simplicity, and flow.