In the Light of Zion
Part of my goal in Zion NP was to find the incredible light that I had read about in so many photography articles. As the sun starts to rise, the sunlight hits the canyon walls. That light is so harsh and bright that it is pretty much impossible to capture on camera. However, when that light is reflected onto another canyon wall, the result is awesome. You get an incredible orange glow that fills the canyon. The Virgin River becomes a mix of emerald green, blue, orange, yellow, red........just a feast for the eyes.
It was around 1 in the afternoon and I was on my way out of the canyon when I turned around and saw this. It was so completely amazing. The light stayed just long enough for me to snap a few shots, then it was gone.
I remember wondering if this is what it would be like one day. You close your eyes for the final time, breath your last breath...and suddenly you are standing in this wonderful place....the air is so cool and clean.....water running at your feet........the cares and worries of life are long gone. Then you see an amazing light.....and as you walk towards it, you hear a majestic voice calling to you "Well done, good and faithful servant..........and Welcome Home". Pretty awesome thought. :-)
One thing that I had heard about the Narrows is that the light is always changing. Very true.....
I had passed this spot once already at the break of sunset. A few hours later, I passed it again and couldn't resist pulling out my tripod. There were a few clouds at this point and the diffused light really brought out some awesome colors.
The Eye of the Canyon
I didn't get many good shots from my day in Antelope Canyon. I went to both Upper and Lower on the same day......but it was super cloudy......and there were only a few moments of direct sunlight into the canyon.
The softer light did help to bring out a lot of color, but I never did see the light shafts or the glowing walls that the sun brings out. Maybe next time.
One of our Navajo guides literally moved me into position for this shot. I had no idea what he was doing until he said "Look up"
Daybreak in Canyonlands
I was on a photo tour of the Moab, UT area when I got this shot. We headed out pretty early and the sun was just starting to come up when we parked. A quick 3/4 mile hike and we were in front of Mesa Arch........and so were 50 other photographers (one got there at 4:30 AM).
If you have ever been to Mesa Arch, you know that it only takes about 8-10 tripods to completely cover the front of it .......looks bigger in the pictures. Well, after I realized that I wasn't getting in front, I decided to just lie down on the ground, hang my camera over the ledge....and fire away.
This was the result. It was published in Photography Week Magazine back in July. Glad to see my griping and frustration turned into something good.
Grandview Point Overlook
When you think of Canyonlands National Park, you typically think of Mesa Arch and Dead Horse Point......the 2 most photographed locations. But just a short drive away is Grandview Point Overlook. It's one of those places that takes your breath away when you first see it.
We got there early in the morning.....probably around 8am. This was one of the first shots I took.
One of the most photographed locations in the Western United States. If you have a camera....and are anywhere near Canyonlands National Park at sunrise....be sure to hit this place up. As the sun breaks over the horizon, the underside of the arch just explodes with color. It is amazing!!
Sunrise over Mesa Arch
With the front of Mesa Arch completely jammed with photographers and tripods, my only choice was to hold my camera in my hand, reach between 2 tripods ("Excuse me , Pardon me, Sorry...can I get in there, Oops, Sorry, Excuse me, Can I ....) and just go for it. Thanks gosh for Live View so I could actually see what I was doing.
This is another one of those places that you just need to take a few minutes and enjoy.... before the camera comes out. Its about a 3/4 of a mile hike from the parking area.
A bunch of guys around me were sitting on the edge and taking pictures of their feet hanging over the side. Cool idea, I thought.........except for the 1400 foot drop if I lean too far forward. I think I will just get one of their photos and Photoshop my shoes into it..
Lower Antelope Canyon
If you are in Page, Arizona.....you are there for one of 3 reasons.....Horseshoe, Bend, Upper Antelope Canyon, or Lower Antelope Canyon. This is from the latter of the 3. One this particular day, the sky was heavily overcast. That means 2 things.....no light shafts......and incredible color!
A New Morning
One of my favorite locations for morning photography is the Jupiter/Palm Beach area of Florida....along the Eastern coast. The sky always seems to have brilliant color, and the reflections in the Atlantic Ocean make the scene remarkable. This was shot right next to the Juno Beach Pier, a very popular location for morning fishermen.
Within the Canyon Walls
On the day I was in Antelope Canyon, it was extremely overcast. I was a little bit bummed as I knew that I wouldn't be seeing all those amazing light shafts. But the diffused light did a great job at bringing out all the beautiful colors that would have been lost in the sunlight.