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Photographing the Red Rocks Country
Moab Photographer Mark Brown Sees the Beauty in the Very Small
By David L. Brown

Mark BrownThis is a change from my themes of how to make better pictures and places around Moab to do it. I want to introduce my readers to photographer Mark Brown (no relation). Mark has been a friend since I first came to live in Moab about five years ago.

Mark (pictured in Fig. 1) is an outstanding photographer who grew up in the East but like so many of us was drawn to the beauty of the West. For nearly 30 years he worked for a large hospital in his native western Pennsylvania. Always attracted to nature, he became interested in using a camera to capture his visions. Soon he was providing artwork for the hospital and doing commercial photography on the side. He shot more than 200 weddings and did many school and sports photo assignments.

“I was always fascinated with photography, and love geography,” Mark says. “I used to have huge maps in my bedroom and knew all the countries and capitals of the world.”Figure 4

That interest led him to pour over photos from exotic places in National Geographic and other magazines. He has never traveled abroad, but began his quest to capture dramatic landscapes in the region where he lived. But the West was calling and in 2003 he bought a Jeep and spent six weeks visiting every Western state. Moab worked its magic, and in 2010 he took early retirement, bought a travel trailer and came to Moab to start a new chapter in his life.

Mark worked as a volunteer camp host for the BLM, became a contract worker for them and eventually was hired as a permanent employee, doing campground maintenance, construction and other outdoor tasks. He spends most of his free time making pictures, including some very high-resolution giga-images combining as many as 80 or more individual exposures. In order to process such large files he has built his own computer and is presently making a second one that will feature a six-core processor and 128 gigabytes of RAM.

Mark shoots a wide variety of subjects, including landscapes, wildlife, panoramic images, night photos, even black-and-white conversions and abstracts. A particular interest is exploring extreme macro photography – capturing images of the very small.

“It’s like a secret world,” he says. “I feel like Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians. I’m often down on my knees or even lying on my stomach to make pictures. People see me like that and don’t know what to think. They don’t see the small world around them.”

It’s a pleasure to share some of Mark’s work with my readers through the examples pictured here, all macro photos made in the Moab area. You can reach him at or call him at 435-210-4882.

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