Utah

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It’s still crazy to me that 2017 is almost over. I was looking through my instagram feed the other day and I was reminiscing on some of my pics from the past year. I had some really great adventures in 2017 and I’m looking forward to the last couple of days the year. That’s when I do an end of the year recap of my favorite images. It’s going to be really hard to pick just a few but seeing them all displayed in one place is going to be so exciting! It’s funny though because my favorites are not usually other people’s favorites. It’s probably because I have a different emotion connection to the images than others but it’s all good. I love that I can look back at the pictures and just smile.

I’m pretty sure there will be an image or two of Utah on that list. When Andrew and I went to Utah in the early part of summer, we had the best time ever and created some memories that will last a life time. Including our little run in with some feisty elks. OMG that was so scary. LOL. BTW I know now that they were elk and not deer and that story was from Colorado, but Utah and Colorado was all the same trip!

This image is from Dead Horse Point Utah State Park. We got to spend a beautiful sunset there and I would highly recommend anyone else doing so. It was great for sunset because if you’re at the very tip of the park, you can actually follow the light of the sun all around the rim of the bend. It’s absolutely beautiful!

The settings for this image is F/9 at 1/8th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

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WoW! Time flies. I took this image almost 3 years ago in Zion National Park. It feels like yesterday that I took it because I remember so many details about being at that exact location. It was at the Canyon Junction shuttle spot and I remember driving up to it and being shocked by how many photographers had already lined up for sunset. We were at least an hour early! You can imagine parking being difficult but luckily we found a spot right off Mount Carmel Highway. I ran over as fast as I could and tried to squeeze myself and tripod in with the crowd. Andrew just stood back and watched. It was ok because pretty much anywhere you stood, you’d have a great view of the Watchman.

The sun was setting and I just remember being so excited about this image. I knew it was going to come out well. At that time, we were only in Zion for a couple of days but now that I think of it I kinda wish we came back to this spot. Not to shoot from top of the bridge again, but I remember seeing people right next to the Virgin River. I wish I knew what that view looked like. I guess that will have to be for my next visit to Utah.

Crazy how one picture can bring back so many memories, right?

Anyways, we took this in October. We were a little late for the color change on the trees but the weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. It can be difficult to plan trips around nature but with that said, I’m looking to do another one this fall! I’m thinking either Maine or somewhere up North. What do you think? Have any good suggestions?

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Dead Horse Point. What a funny name for a state park, don’t you think? But it’s probably one of my favorite places in Utah that I’ve ever photographed. It is beautiful at any time of the day and in the two days that we were in Moab, we visited this place twice. It was that cool. I also liked it because it was so easily accessible. There weren’t long hikes or anything that you had to do in order to get some great views. You pretty much park your car and you are right there in the mix of all this amazingness. I took this while I was waiting for the sun to go down. It’s hard to believe places like this really exist.

Speaking of which, have you seen the HBO show West World? Andrew and I started watching it from a recommendation of a friend and just hearing people talk about it in general. I think we’ve seen 3 episodes of it. To be honest, I’m not a big fan. It’s a little too weird for me. There are so many characters and so much going on at once that it’s a bit too much for me. I can’t find a single character to really care about or relate to. But I mention West World because it looks like the characters on the show are straight up living in National Parks. I don’t know for sure but some of it must have been filmed in Utah and they make it look amazing! I think that’s the most exciting part of watching West World to me. Just watching the scenery and imagining what life really must of been like back in the day, when there were no real rules, just amazing landscapes. Oh man, the trouble I probably would of gotten myself into. HAHA!

BTW, did you know that if you hoover on top of the image and there’s a link to “purchase print”? Obviously, you can buy this print if you’d like, but it also allows you to view it larger. I’d recommend doing that! This image looks even better bigger! For realz.

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Today on our road trip we’re driving from Oklahoma City, OK to Roswell, New Mexico. Over the weekend we zipped past the east coast and most of the central time zone with only a few stops. This was intentional because Sue and I wanted to spend most of the time in the south west. The temperatures will be hot but the pictures will be too, amiright? *high five* Really looking forward to the rest of this adventure. Follow along on my instagram stories to see what we’ve been getting up to in real-time.

The image above was taken just a few weeks ago in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. I loved seeing these little cacti along the walking trails. Every time I saw one, I’d squeal. They’re just so cute. I bet if you were just walking, you wouldn’t even notice them. They aren’t very big and there weren’t very many of them but it’s little details like this that I love photographing. Things other might have passed by but if you really take your time and look around, they’re so fun to see. The sunrise lighting was perfect. Perfectly describes the mood I felt while I was there, happy and warm.

I did not have a macro lens with me on this trip, so I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle. That was so I could make sure to get enough foreground and background in this shot. My camera settings for this image was f7.1 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 250. My favorite part is seeing the glow on all the plants in this image. Especially the tall purple flowers on the right hand side. Barely noticeable, but it’s there 🙂 And who knows who’s foot prints those are in the very front. They definietly were not mine.

 

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Devils Garden in Arches National Park at sunrise. The best part about this entire trail was that we were pretty much by ourselves. Hardly anyone was out there so early in the morning. I felt like I had the whole park to ourselves. But we did run into a few chipmunks, deer, etc. They were cool.

If you’re interested in doing the hike, it’s pretty easy. For the most part the land is flat and the trail itself is well marked. The rock formations were great because they provided some shade underneath that hot sun. However, had I known earlier we would of been able to see so much more than we did. There was kind of a split in the middle of the road around this huge rock. Andrew and I didn’t know which way to go so we kinda decided to just walk back to the car and try out some other trails.

Which leads me to the question, how much research do you guys do before you leave for a trip? I have an idea of the things that I want to see when I visit a new place. I’ll mark them on a map and figure out which is better, sunrise, sunset, or during the day. But I’m not sure if I do enough research like how to get there or how long it will take. I kinda leave to when we arrive at our destination to figure that kinda stuff out. Partly out of laziness but partly because I know things always change. Road closures, construction, etc. Sometimes those things can be hard to predict. For the most part it works, but had I known the Devils Garden trail went a lot further out, I would of been able to see some more really cool arches. Oh well. You live and you learn.

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If you’ve ever been to Moab, Utah, which is your favorite park to visit? Is it Arches National Park? Is it Canyonlands National Park? or Dead Horse Point State Park? Right now, it’s hard for me to decide Every time I think about any of the parks, I just think about how hot it was. We were only in Moab for one full day but it was extremely hot and cloudless the whole time. As seen above. But if you ask Andrew, his was Canyonlands NP.

However, I wish we could of spent more time in Arches. We were there for sunrise and had a great time walking around some of the shorter trails like Devils Garden and Fiery Furnace Viewpoint. The whole plan was to spend sunrise and sunset shooting Arches and visit the other parks during the day. When it came time for sunset, we drove up to the entrance and found out it was was closed due to road construction. Womp Womp. There was no way to get in. I was hoping for this epic shot of Delicate Arch at sunset and we were going to stay to shoot the stars. So this whole trip, I didn’t not get to see Delicate Arch which seems like the main attraction 🙁 Now I have a reason to go back.

So this image was shot at sunrise at Courthouse Towers. I was super impressed by all the rock formations and the shadows that they were creating. I even heard a lady giving a tour while I was shooting this saying that there were over 2,000 arches in the park. Thats nuts-o. I think there are some arches in this image that the national park would consider an arch. Do you see them?

This was shot at f/11 at 1/160th of a second ISO 250.