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.
Leaving Arches National Park heading for Grand Junction, Colorado I spotted these towering plateaus, and just had to stop and grab a photo. They’re so majestic, I decided to wander out into the high desert pasture to grab a quick shot. I noticed some bulls off to the left of me, so I knew I shouldn’t wander to far away from the safety of the barbed wire fence. After a stare-down and nostrils flaring, that was my cue to get out of there.
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!
Looking east across the plateaus, out to the La Sal mountains is quite invigorating, as you stand high above it all. You can get a sense of how far down it is, from the size of the road below. I spent 3 days exploring Canyonlands and Arches National Park. It wasn’t enough time. As you get into these parks, photo opportunities are endless as is the incredible landscapes. If you ever come, spend a week, take advantage of camping and hiking this wild and raw Utah landscape.. and bring your camera.
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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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You’re pretty much awe struck when you approach the edge of Bryce Canyon at various view points. There is really nothing quite like it. It’s inspiring and definitely perspiring when you decide to go down into this huge hole. Problem is you have to eventually climb back out. And in the higher altitudes it’s an undertaking. But you forget about that and concentrate on the more important task at hand.. “footagraphy”. That’s my way of saying, you walk a few feet up hill, stop, check out the view,take a picture, walk up a few feet, stop,check out the view, take a picture, etc. That way nobody notices that your panting for air, about ready to faint from the strenuous uphill climb. Next time you’re climbing a big hill, about to faint try, “footagraphy”!
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I was lost in color as I climbed back into the thick of it, in this huge grove of maple trees near Park City, Utah. I was totally surrounded by all this never-ending burst of reds. It was hard to figure what to photograph, to break it down into a simplied form. So I just picked a small part of a tree, and let that speak for the entire forest.
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Beautiful autumn leaves at every turn when you drive through many of the valleys through out the mountains above Salt Lake City. With the drive this time of year!
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Hiking down into this canyon was a thrill until it was time to hike back out. That’s when I knew how out of shape I was. There were these folks in their 80’s that were zipping back and forth, up the switch backs like it was nothing. I was embarrassed! I came back home and put myself on a diet and lost 30 pounds. Nothing like a bunch of 80 somethings to motivate you back into shape. Living at sea level in Phoenix, I blamed it on the high altitude in Utah. I guess in the end “no excuses”!
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I spent a number of nights and one early morning capturing this majestic location called, Green River Overlook in Canyonlands. This particular evening the wind was whipping up out of the canyon and I didn’t dare let go of my tripod for fear it would end up in the deep crevasse that was just behind me. I stayed low to the ground for fear I would be thrown into the deep hole also. A half dozen of us avid photographers were teetering on one rock all vying for our spot to catch the sunset. One by one they drifted away and I held my ground ’til the bitter end and the bitter cold.
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