Photo Management Begins With Capturing the Perfect Shot

Trying to capture the perfect photograph - X marks the spot. Photo by David Breslauer It has been nearly a year since my friend Vince and I dragged my wife around Southern Utah and Northern Arizona on a trip we dubbed our photo safari (check out another one of my blogs on the subject of my photo safari). Despite not everything always going to plan, we had a great trip and came back with some memorable images.

This really does not have a lot to do with archiving, digital asset management or Picture Desks – my normal topics on this blog – it is about photography, or at least the adventure of photography.

We began the safari by visiting Moab’s Mesa arch. Despite our early start, we joined dozens of strangers waiting for a sunrise that never came.

Then off to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, where we were warned by park rangers to watch for quicksand as we drove our 4Runner on a 4-wheel-drive trail. When they say 4-wheel-drive trail, they mean it – we only launched the truck once; good thing we had secured all our gear!

We raced the setting sun as we drove down the Moki Dugway toward Mexican Hat, Utah, watching the full moon rise. We still don’t know who Ginny Roberts is, but her name graces a cross in the dirt near where we stopped to photograph the full moon behind the rock formation, resembling a hat, that gave the nearby town its name.

We cancelled our overnight stay on Hunts Mesa in Monument Valley because of a sandstorm, and opted for an early morning trip with our guide Tom Phillips, who had obviously done this sort of thing before ( He guided us to some great spots for photos, and urged patience as we watched the desert sunrise paint the sky. The second-by-second changes were amazing.

Recently, I was scrolling through some of my photos from this trip, and came across some of my Monument Valley shots. It made me recall a pleasant conversation while photographing there with Tom Phillips. After the sun had come up, he took us to this extraordinary place where an arch was forming, it was more of a natural tunnel through the rock than an arch, and it lined up perfectly with the “Y” of some tree branches. As we made our photos, I joked with Tom, that he does this so much, he should mark the spot to make a photo with an “X.”

He smiled, silently pointed to the ground at my feet, and there it was, an “X” carved in the red sandstone. So I took from that that neither my pictures nor even my off-hand comment were original, and that many had been lucky enough to have passed that way before me.

It was also a reminder to look down.

You can see some of my vacation snaps at If you want to learn about how to better manage your company’s photo workflow with a digital asset management system, you’ve already come to the right place.

Posted by David Breslauer
Photo by David Breslauer

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