What's called negative hands appear on a wall on the San Rafael Swell in this photo taken on Sept. 3, 2012. Photo courtesy Jonathan Bailey.

Photos capture pictographs, petroglyphs on Utah’s San Rafael Swell

Hiking Utah
First Published May 01 2013 07:42 am
Last Updated May 01 2013 09:58 am

Photographer Jonathan Bailey has been hiking the San Rafael Swell in central Utah. Just don’t ask him to be more precise.

Bailey has been photographing pictographs and petroglyphs on what locals call "The Swell." Some of the rock art has been vandalized over the decades. Bailey is protective of the sites and doesn’t want to share their locations with anyone.

But he did agree to share some of his photographs with the Hiking Utah blog. The work particularly highlights the Barrier Canyon Style of rock art found on the San Rafael Swell.

Not much is understood about the meaning of the images on The Swell. In captions accompanying photos, Bailey notes some images appear to be of creatures; others of flute players. To enhance his photos, Bailey sometimes used techniques such as double exposures and artificial lighting.

Find more of Bailey’s work at jonathanbailey.org.

— Nate Carlisle

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