You sure feel the majesty of the red rock formations, as you sit and ponder this vast desert vista. A small hiking path beckons you to not sit, but wonder down it’s sandy trails, to wherever it might lead. I heard the call and like millions before me, picked myself up and made my way ever so slowly down into the vistas, I had previous photographed. A picture-perfect moment, a place to forget the troubled world we live in, de-stress and embrace the wind, and the power of nature you feel all around you. A sense of freedom overtakes and you, and you are indeed somewhere special, a place in time you will never forget.
Arches National Park
Looking toward “Wall Street” to the west, I couldn’t help but stop and take a shot of this huge red sandstone formation. When you’re there, standing, looking up at these rocks, you’re hypnotized by their shear size. The wind was literally blowing me over trying to get this shot. I had both hands on the tripod, waiting for a lull in the wind. When it came I had my shot. The clouds were moving so fast, I thought they might distort in the photo, especially taking 3 shots for an HDR. Arches National Park is an excellent hiking destination. Paths wonder everywhere and are pleasant and easy navigate. Try it!
During a hike through Park Avenue at Arches National Park, I saw this tiny little wild flower, desperately trying to survive. I didn’t see many along the trail, so I tried to figure out how to get the little thing into a photo with the red rock in the back ground. Problem being the tripod didn’t get low enough to capture the flower. I decided the only way it was going to work was, ly flat down on my stomach with the camera flat on the ground. But then I couldn’t frame it, because I couldn’t get my eyeball low enough to see through the viewfinder. I ended up turning my head kind of sideways, with one eye low enough to see somewhat through the viewfinder. Propping little rocks around the camera, I attempted to balance the little flower where I wanted it in the frame. To make things worse, the desert ground was burning up, so I got pretty figidy. I must have looked pretty scary to other hikers, wondering why I was scuffling around in the dirt. I guess it’s something us crazy photographers do to entertain ourselves. Enough said!
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Wide angle lens can be fun especially when you got time on your hands. I was having a rough time in Arches this day trying to get some “near and far” wide angle HDR landscape shots, but the wind was not cooperating. It was gusting up to 50 mph and it was all I could do to hold my tripod down. Any trees or plants upclose was pretty well distorted and messy. So I went for long shots where the trees weren’t so noticeably blurred. The clouds were moving quick and blurred at 3 HDR shots. Arches is a beautiful place for dramatic shots and you really can’t go to wrong here. My rent-a-car special added some fun to the moment.
I like to take a photo of the rental cars I use when traveling to photo destinations. It’s kinda cool to use an extreme wide angle lens and have some fun warping the shot. This was taken with a 16-35mm Canon lens, my favorite lens for landscapes. Then a little HDR magic to bring out some zip, not that it needed any.
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Traveling in Pittsburgh at the time for July 4th week. Got back from Pismo Beach a couple of days ago and will have some nice photos to share from that trip.
Arches National Park in Utah on a very windy, but sunny day. Double Arch is a short hike up to this massive arch. It’s hard to get a true picture of the shear size of this thing. I’m using a wide angle 16-35 mm Canon lens to capture it and I’m literally right up underneath of it shooting almost straight up. Great experience.
Recently I went up to Utah to hike around the National Parks of Arches and Canyonlands. I kept coming back to this area for morning and evening shots and hoping for some interesting cloud cover. To catch this perspective I laid on the ground in the sand with this little yucca plant within 2 feet of the lens, hoping I could get it and “The Organ” rock formation in focus. I think I succeeded. The yucca is 1 foot high, the rock formation felt 500 feet high.
Fifty of us took the mile and half trek up the hill over slick rock and sand, narrow passageways with touchy drop-offs, to sit on the natural amphitheater-like sandstone, all waiting for the big event. Was there going to be the infamous red sunset or not? Most of us had resigned to the “not” side since thick clouds pretty much dominated the western sky. As the sun appeared to set undramatically, people started getting up to take the long trek back down. The “wait ’til the bitter end photographers” stayed put and sure enough for a quick thirty seconds the clouds opened up to allow the sun to blast out it’s magically light display. The “hold-outs” packed their gear and like a grand exodus, we all headed down the hill satisfied that we had gotten what we came for.