Now it was the time to get serious on a Utah Trip. I am been all over California, and have had a bit of success but have yet to capture the jaw dropping color and composition that I have been working towards. I have taken several images that were interesting, but nothing that I have really been happy about.
In October, I took two weeks off, and spent one week on a house boat at Lake Powell with friends. Each afternoon I would hike out into the country looking for the right light. However, I was never able to find the images I was looking for. I found that I had some problems being on the wrong side of the lake, when the sun light began to soften.
After a week on the lake, I was finally able to relax from the office, and wind down. The second week of my trip was spent with my good friend John and his wife. John has been taking photographs for several years, but only began after I stopped. So this is the first time we have ever taken pictures together. A truly fine photographer, John has taught me much in the last year and has been instrumental in helping me develop my technique and style.
The Slot Canyons
Our first day was spent around page Arizona, We got ourselves organized, and headed off to Antelope Canyon. Each toting two cameras, several lenses, tripods, multiple rolls of film, we jumped on a Native American truck and drove up the road to Upper Antelope Canyon. Upper Antelope is a truly amazing place, and I consider myself fortunate to have visited this place.
The light at midday was inspiring and I found it difficult to shoot as I was just content to look. However, after a quick walk through the canyon we went to work with the cameras with some good results. The only negative thing that I could say about Upper Antelope Canyon, was that it has become quick popular, and was rather crowded. There was only 25 people or so in the canyon, and this may not seem like many, but when you are in a canyon that is only 3 feet wide, you are constantly moving and relocating to let someone pass.
Lower Antelope canyon is just across the road from Upper Antelope, but could not have been more different. Upper Antelope is known for it’s Grandeur, Lower Antelope Canyon is a much more intermit place to visit. The whole time that we were there, we only saw two other people. I could not have planned it better. Lower Antelope canyon starts literally as a small crack in a river bed. It opens up into one of the prettiest places on earth. Words can not do it justice, and the images that can be capture are beyond description. Hours past in an instant
Escalante & Bryce
After leaving Page Arizona, we head North West on our Utah trip, and took a dirt shortcut up to Bryce. We spent the next day exploring Escalante Canyon. We got a late start, and we did not really have a good plan of attack for Escalante Canyon. I took some good shots of around Calf Creek Falls.
I had not been to Zion in many years. It had been so long, that I was not too sure what to expect. However, John knew exactly where to go, and had previously obtained all the back country permits. Our Utah trip was made when we discovered that we would be in the same valley as one of our mutual influences. We hiked down into the small river canyon that contain our goal. A tubular structure carved into the canyon wall known as the subway. The nine mile hike into the subway is strewn with a lot of boulder hoping along a “trail” that is missing most the time. It was rough going, but was truly worth the effort. Leading up to the subway itself is a series of cascades. It was on these cascades that John and I met the man who has so influenced our work.
After a quick lunch we started shooting the water falls, and let the other photographer work further up the valley unimpeded. Although careful, I quickly was completely soaked with water from the knees down. Continuing up the canyon, we found our goal, the subway itself. Standing in near freezing water, for hours at a time had its toll, but the time continued to fly by. However, the longer we waited the better the light became.
After just four short hours we had to leave. The climb out of the canyon is steep up a heavily eroded trail that is best navigated with some remaining light.
The next two days were spent relaxing a bit. On the hike out of the subway, I aggravated an old knee injury, and my knee had quickly swollen and became painful. It was worth it though. I captured some good photographs, and met one of my influences out in the field, doing what we both love. Truly a great Utah trip.