Category Archives: Utah
I had the bright idea of taking the scenic Kolob Terrace road from Cedar City to Zion this past weekend. I knew there would be some snow at that elevation but I didn’t anticipate how much mud there would be. 20 miles later, I decided to turn around right after I helped tow someone else’s truck out of the mud. The moral of the story? Better off road tires might be a good investment at some point.
It was great while it lasted however. The aspens had all dropped their leaves and were prominently displaying their interesting trunks, there was plenty of untouched snow on the ground and a layer of low clouds hanging over all. I managed to come away with a few shots I liked and this is one of them. This little bit of yellow grass poking through snow was something I wouldn’t have given a second glance a year ago but now, I’m happy to be able see little minimalistic compositions like this. Click on the image to view it larger – this one definitely looks better in the lightbox.
The night sky has always been something that’s fascinated me for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid growing up in Tucson, there were still several good places where one could observe the stars without too much light pollution. I remember in particular living on the outskirts of Tucson as a young adult and looking up at the stars when there was a new moon – it was really something extraordinary. Living in Phoenix for many years, stars were something I rather forgot about with all the light pollution until I got my first DSLR. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to travel to many places with very dark skies and rediscover my love for the stars.
This is only my second attempt at shooting the Milky Way. The first was several months ago at a remote area in Arizona and those photos didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. My second attempt here was a last week up in Cedar Breaks and it definitely went a little better, although I think I need to reduce the shutter time slightly. I look forward to playing around with this time of photography a lot more in the future and adding some Milky Way shots to my portfolio .
Here’s one of my favorite shots of the entrance to the Subway. This area is always quite slick from the continuously flowing water. Last December when I did this hike I lost my footing on the slippery ice and went sliding on my backside for several feet. A lot of photographers like to move around with their cameras attached to their tripods but in sketchy areas like this I find it best to put in my bag. It takes a bit longer when shooting but I can think of a number of times that this has helped save my expensive camera gear.
This image is from my first trip up to Cedar Breaks the other week. The light was just gorgeous and this bush was absolutely glowing in it. Sometimes my favorite pictures from a location are small things like this rather than the large open landscape.
I got the best compliment on this photo from my wife. Normally her comments on my work range from “That’s nice” to “Mmmm Hmmm”, and the occasional “Ewww”, and once, (I didn’t speak to her for the rest of the night), she said my image looked like a postcard. This time however, she said “Wow, that’s art!” I have to say that I’m happy to have such a compliment from her .
About This Photo
I was walking along the Virgin River and I began to notice these interesting patterns in the sand so I scouted around until I found a leaf in the right place. As I was setting up and framing my shot the gentle water carried a second leaf to a stop right next to the first. I was happy to include the second leaf with the first which seemed to stop there just for my purposes .
Do you ever stage photos like this? Personally, I don’t like to stage my photos but I see it all the time, particularly this fall at Zion. I saw a photographer open a ziplock bag full of leaves she collected on her hike to the Subway and place them in strategic positions for her compositions, there was another guy splashing water onto an area of rock to make it wet and more pleasing for his image. My favorite was when I was shooting at the Subway though. I was setting up to take this shot and another photographer who was shooting next to me actually picked up a handful of leaves that were naturally in my foreground to move it to where he was shooting! I was so stunned that someone would do that but I just laughed to myself, moved forward and recomposed my shot.
It’s all personal preference I suppose and I mean no offense to those who do stage little scenes like this (except the guy at the Subway who stole my leaves), but I always prefer natural looking scenes. How about you?