Archive for May, 2017

Bryce Canyon National Park

There is no place like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but here is the largest collection of hoodoos in the world! Descriptions fail. Photographs do not do it justice. Bring your sense of wonder and imagination when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.

Wind, water and time have eroded Bryce Canyon Park’s sandstone cliffs into otherworldly characters plucked from the unconscious of a mad Viking. Rows of humanoid pillars crosshatched by rock strata look almost intentional but perfectly surreal. So silent, eerie and beautiful. So improbable it has to be true. Your first view of the park is a dramatic unveiling. Wind through stands of pine trees until they break at the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park, revealing a panorama of goblins, towers and fins of a color you can’t quite name.

Don’t pack for Zion when you’re going to Bryce, which is a full 18˚F cooler. The rim reaches 9,100 feet above sea level, so July peaks around 80˚F and winter snow sticks around until April. (Yeah, snow. Lots of it!) It’s a year-round national park: comfortable all summer and snowy hoodoos make for gorgeous cross-country skiing winter to spring.

Bike it, hike it, snowshoe, or ride a horse. If you don’t want to park, hop on the shuttle and people-watch between viewpoints.

The Subway at Zion National Park

DSC00898-Edit-Edit-Edit-2-BlogThe biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

Making the long treacherous trek on the Left Fork Trail to the “Subway” was both a challenging and rewarding adventure. It was quite a walk down the steep narrow rocky gully leading to the bottom of the large valley and the Virgin River. The weight of our packs made the hike even more difficult. The trek was over 8 hours, bouldering and scrambling on an undeveloped trail, and climbing up several staircase waterfalls flowing over very slick algae covered rocks, before finally reaching the Subway. We made it up into the highest part of the Subway by clinging on to the rock walls for stability. The hike out was brutal. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to the parking lot. Yes it was challenging, but We never felt more alive.

Antelope Canyon

“If you stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

To older Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would probably pause before going in to be in the right frame of mind, and prepare for protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature has to offer, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was, and is, a spiritual experience.

Antelope Canyon is a naturally formed canyon that is often referred to as the most photogenic of all of Arizona’s natural wonders. The Native Navajo call it “Tsé bighánílíní,” or “Where the water runs through rocks.” The entire canyon system was formed by the erosion of the soft Navajo Sandstone in the area over thousands of years.

_X5Q0084-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-2-Blog2Thousands of people have walked through these canyons, and many more thousands of photos have been taken here. If you’re planning a visit here, it helps to pay a little extra and get a personal guide to lead you through the canyons. Otherwise, you will be stuck in a mass of people and it will be virtually impossible to get a good photo without someone in it.

PHOTO TIP – ADDING DEPTH TO YOUR PHOTOS: Incorporating a sense of depth is one of the things that you have a lot of control over. It can improve the vitality of the image and it’s also fun to experiment with. Most photographers know that a good foreground can really make an image pop. To take it a step further; ensure that there is a foreground, mid-ground, and background to your images so that you can take control of the sense of depth in an image. This helps to lead the viewers eyes into the photo and gives it more of a three dimensional effect.