June 3, 2023

Looking at Goblin Valley through lens of a camera


Photography students from Jason Huntzinger’s beginning photo class spent Oct. 6 in Goblin Valley State Park documenting the spectacular beauty and formations.
Huntzinger said, “Goblin Valley is a unique and amazing geological phenomenon that is only a two- hour drive from our campus. It is a great photographic exercise to see everything in your composition because there is so much material, and a challenge to be selective about what to include in your frame.”
According to state park literature, Goblin Valley is a strange and colorful valley, which is unlike any other in Utah. The landscape, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to the planet Mars. It opened as a state park in 1964.
Students could explore the geology while walking through the nooks and gnones. Sometimes called Mushroom Valley, the exposed cliffs reveal parallel layers of rock bared by erosion.
Because of the uneven hardness of sandstone, some patches resist erosion much better than others. The softer material is removed by wind and water, leaving thousands of unique geologic goblins. Water erosion and the smoothing action of windblown dust work together to shape the goblins.
Beginning photography is taught fall semester and photo 1 is taught spring semester at USU Eastern in the Central Instructional Building. The classes are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:45 a.m.

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