Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns

I love how the Weekly Photo Challenge works! So often, as I wait on Friday morning to learn what it will be, I’m amazed when that email comes through and I have been working on the perfect shot that very day! I spent this morning processing the HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging) photos I took during our recent visit to Sego Canyon near Moab, Utah. This remarkable location contains rock art from three different cultures all in the same group of canyon walls. So what better way to interpret “From Lines to Patterns” than to share some of my shots of this beautiful and ancient creativity!

This photo shows the artwork of the Ute culture believed to be 200-300 years old. This panel contains images of hunters, horses and shields painted on the rock face.

Ute Hunting Scene - Sego Canyon, Utah

Ute Hunting Scene – Sego Canyon, Utah

This shot shows two cultures colliding on the same wall. The white figures come from the Fremont Culture who inhabited the Utah area from about 700-1300 c.e. Called petroglyphs, these were scratched into the rock. The red figures behind and above them come from the Barrier Canyon Culture. Radiocarbon dating has placed them to have been painted as early as 7000 b.c.e.!

Fremont and Barrier Canyon Figures

Fremont and Barrier Canyon Figures

Finally, these Barrier Canyon figures stand tall on their own rock panel – pictographs painted by humans (or maybe aliens?) seven to nine thousand years ago. From lines to patterns – ancient cultures left their marks for us to ponder…

Barrier Canyon Figures

Barrier Canyon Figures

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

47 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns

  1. Fascinating, Cathy! Maybe it is aliens. Who knows, right? Great shots and color.

    Like

  2. 1createblogs says:

    Nice post !

    Like

  3. kz says:

    wow these are amazing!

    Like

  4. Great shots Cathy. What I find fascinating is that whatever they used hundreds and thousands of years ago to paint on those canyon walls has not been washed off by the elements through either the centuries or the. I doubt that any paint by Benjamin Moore would last much longer than a decade or two.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      I know! The color is so vibrant and strong! What I also find fascinating is that to my discerning (cough) eye, the 9000-year-old ones are the most sophisticated! What do you think, Miss Film Major?

      Like

      • I agree Cathy but you know how things degrade over time. Movie storytelling started with intricate canyon wall paintings and descended over the millennia to what we have know: remakes, sequels and knock offs of mediocre TV series. I would not be surprised if Hollywood has a film version of “Dancing with the Stars” in development.

        Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Yes! Where nothing is left to the imagination. Conversely, these wall paintings leave everything to the imagination!

      Like

  5. ashleypaige4 says:

    AMAZING! I love petroglyphs! They never cease to amazing me! Thank you for sharing these great shots!

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Ashley! Me too! I was with my sister and husband on this trip and we all three love pictographs and petroglyphs. There’s something almost magical about them. We spent quite a bit of time seeking them out on this recent trip, and Sego Canyon was a new site to us. We had never been there before. It IS amazing!

      Like

  6. […] Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns (largeself.com) […]

    Like

  7. vastlycurious.com says:

    Wonderful and the black frame is perfect!

    Like

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh, to be able to be a time-traveling fly on the wall, just to see how those cultures lived and thrived. As long as we wouldn’t get squished during their drawing…

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      I know, Carrie! They certainly spark the imagination, don’t they! The ones from the Ute culture are pretty clear, I think, but to understand the meaning of the older ones would be great! And you’re right, one would not want to get squished or painted red! Imagine how hard it would be to get off, since it’s lasted on this rock wall for 9000 years! 🙂

      Like

  9. Awesome pictures Cathy! I love to think about the message they were sending. Sharing their lives with whomever came upon their story… seven to nine thousand years later. (?!?What?!?)
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I can’t wait to visit there myself and see them in person. I bet the energy is amazing!
    Much Love!
    XOXO

    Like

  10. […] Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns « LargeSelf […]

    Like

  11. marydpierce says:

    And on Fridays I wait and wonder how you will interpret the theme. These are fabulous! I spent one College summer in northern New York state working on an archeological dig. It was fascinating. Any idea what those cultures used to create the red figures? I am amazed that they have survived all that time.

    One of these days, I really have to take a trip out west. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures, Cathy.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Mary! One site I found says that the paint was made with red ochre or iron oxide and no one has been able to determine the binding agent – although it is believed to be organic. This is the third Barrier Canyon site I’ve visited (I’ve been to Barrier Canyon – also called Horseshoe Canyon!) and it always amazes me at how vibrant the colors are in these figures. They were certainly great painters!

      Like

  12. As always, gorgeous! These are fascinating… just beautiful, Cathy.

    Like

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thank you so much, Dawn! Honestly, I was very excited about these – interesting, amazing aesthetics, mysterious! What more could you want? One thing that was very interesting about the middle picture is that the red figures were actually hard to see with the naked eye. I could tell that there was red paint and something on the wall there, but only after I processed the three exposure bracketed shots in my HDRI software did they really show up. And they’re beautiful! What a nice surprise. I was definitely glad I had my tripod with me and took the time to bracket the shots! Thanks, as always Dawn, for taking a look.
      Hugs,
      Cathy

      Like

  13. mithriluna says:

    So interesting and informative. Great images. Love the Moab area.

    Like

  14. bikerchick57 says:

    Awesome Cathy. The people DO look like aliens and it’s amazing how long those pictures have survived thousands of years.

    Like

  15. […] Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns « LargeSelf […]

    Like

  16. […] Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns « LargeSelf […]

    Like

  17. Oooh, neato. That last one is definitely aliens. I think I recognize some of them, actually. 🙂

    Like

  18. […] Weekly Photo Challenge – From Lines to Patterns « LargeSelf […]

    Like

  19. Brigitte says:

    Late to this, Cathy but you know how I feel about your luscious photos. They always tell a story and this time, a very ancient one. I am amazed how these have survived! I do think the last one looks as if they were drawing aliens or as you said, maybe they were aliens doing self-portraits. Or maybe they were having a big ole’ costume party. Or maybe they were wearing big glasses. Or sunglasses. HA!

    I’m rambling. Love your beautiful pics!

    Like

  20. seabluelee says:

    I grew up in the desert southwest and have seen pictographs and petroglyphs in several locations. I’ve always found them absolutely fascinating. You’ve captured them beautifully in these photos.

    Like

  21. Bastet says:

    mind-boggling…love the colors and the figures looks so “modern” as in illustrations for science fiction creatures!

    Like

  22. The paintings from 7000-9000 BCE are mind blowing. It’s so hard to wrap my head around the idea of people from that long ago.

    Like

  23. ShimonZ says:

    What beautiful images.

    Like

Feel free to leave a comment, you know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s