Piering Sunset


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The Great Salt Lake in Utah is known for many things. Primarily, when people think of it, they think of a very large lake that is very salty and they are completely correct. Yet, like most places, the lake holds secrets for those who unlock them.

The lake’s water level varies year over year, with some years having a much higher level than others. On those drier years, more of the shallow lake’s bottom is exposed, and along with it, anything that happens to be on that bottom. For example, the pilings of an old pier, long ago forgotten in the mists of time. Add in a sunset, and the makings of a very unusual vista begin to take shape.

Exactly these elements came together for me in the making of this photograph. I was struck, deeply, by the pier that now stretches absolutely nowhere. I wondered who built it, and when. I wondered where they went and why the pier fell into disuse, disrepair and then disappeared. I wondered if anyone even remembered it was still here, a poignant reminder of days long past. I peered into the sunset as these thoughts swirled through my head, and the sky seemed to echo the emotions I was feeling. The pier continued its lonely march into the sunset and a forgotten history.

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