100 Days of National Parks: Day 61 – Morning Beneath the Patriarchs, Zion National Park

Morning beneath the Patriarchs

One of the benefits in becoming as familiar with Zion National Park as I have become over the past half decade is the fact that I can go to the park and not feel the need to constantly chase new sights or places I haven’t seen. On my last real trip to the park in November of 2014, I spent two weeks hiking familiar and unfamiliar trails and generally wandering the park freely, as the winter chill had emptied the park of most of its crowds, allowing me the peace of exploring at my own pace in my own manner.

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Morning Beneath the Patriarchs

 

Morning beneath the Patriarchs
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One of the benefits in becoming as familiar with Zion National Park as I have become over the past half decade is the fact that I can go to the park and not feel the need to constantly chase new sights or places I haven’t seen.  On my last real trip to the park in November of 2014, I spent two weeks hiking familiar and unfamiliar trails and generally wandering the park freely, as the winter chill had emptied the park of most of its crowds, allowing me the peace of exploring at my own pace in my own manner.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 61 – Morning Beneath the Patriarchs, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 57 – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

There are many reasons in my time as a photographer that I’ve had to sit and wait for a shot to materialize. It could be waiting for the right lighting, or for an animal to turn its head, or snapping away at a particularly large panorama, aligning each shot over the course of an hour to make sure it all lines up in the edit. Then there are those times when you simply know that you’re in a special place, one that is so popular that the people flock to it en masse, and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the shot to clear so you can get that one clean exposure.

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Delicate Arch

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There are many reasons in my time as a photographer that I’ve had to sit and wait for a shot to materialize.  It could be waiting for the right lighting, or for an animal to turn its head, or snapping away at a particularly large panorama, aligning each shot over the course of an hour to make sure it all lines up in the edit.  Then there are those times when you simply know that you’re in a special place, one that is so popular that the people flock to it en masse, and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the shot to clear so you can get that one clean exposure.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 57 – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 56 – Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park

The view over Bryce Canyon at sunrise is truly a special sight, as the first light of the day shines across the distant plateaus of the Grand Staircase and illuminates the high walls and towering hoodoos of the Faerieland Amphitheater. Crowds in the hundreds are known to assemble at the accurately named Sunrise point to watch the spectacle, and with good reason. Of all the places I’ve watched sunrises, Bryce Canyon is one of the best.

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Sunrise Point

The view over Bryce Canyon at sunrise is truly a special sight, as the first light of the day shines across the distant plateaus of the Grand Staircase and illuminates the high walls and towering hoodoos of the Faerieland Amphitheater.  Crowds in the hundreds are known to assemble at the accurately named Sunrise point to watch the spectacle, and with good reason.  Of all the places I’ve watched sunrises, Bryce Canyon is one of the best.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 56 – Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 54 – Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park

As one of the easier hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, the short 2 mile trail to Hickman Bridge is definitely worth the stop, just for the chance to pass under the impressive natural span of sandstone. Other than Natural Bridges National Monument, I’ve never found a place with a more accessible, and stunning display of a natural bridge. Whether combined with a longer hike out to the Rim Overlook, which looks down upon the orchards of Fruita Valley, or as a short diversion when passing through the park, it’s definitely worth the stop.

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Hickman Bridge

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As one of the easier hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, the short 2 mile trail to Hickman Bridge is definitely worth the stop, just for the chance to pass under the impressive natural span of sandstone.  Other than Natural Bridges National Monument, I’ve never found a place with a more accessible, and stunning display of a natural bridge.  Whether combined with a longer hike out to the Rim Overlook, which looks down upon the orchards of Fruita Valley, or as a short diversion when passing through the park, it’s definitely worth the stop.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 54 – Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 51 – Mesa Arch Sunrise, Canyonlands National Park

One of the great challenges that I find as I travel and advance my photography career, is fighting the ever-present threat of desensitization to the beauty of the places I go and photograph. It hasn’t happened yet, though I’ve felt it creeping in, in amazingly beautiful places that I’ve been to several times, or seen in countless photos from other artists I admire. There are certain places that seem almost over-shot, places that you’ve seen countless times online or as prints in galleries, and so seeing them in person loses some of its luster, and photographing them almost becomes a chore. I’ve seen it in other photographers, arriving at a spot just to shoot it and get it over with, the passion and spark that led them to chasing those shots in the first place replaced with irritation at the process of capturing it.

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Mesa Arch Sunrise

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One of the great challenges that I find as I travel and advance my photography career, is fighting the ever-present threat of desensitization to the beauty of the places I go and photograph.  It hasn’t happened yet, though I’ve felt it creeping in, in amazingly beautiful places that I’ve been to several times, or seen in countless photos from other artists I admire.  There are certain places that seem almost over-shot, places that you’ve seen countless times online or as prints in galleries, and so seeing them in person loses some of its luster, and photographing them almost becomes a chore.  I’ve seen it in other photographers, arriving at a spot just to shoot it and get it over with, the passion and spark that led them to chasing those shots in the first place replaced with irritation at the process of capturing it.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 51 – Mesa Arch Sunrise, Canyonlands National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 50 – Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park

Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa

It’s the halfway point of my 100 Days of National Parks Photo Series, and I wanted to mark it by going back to the photo that in many ways marked the beginning of my love affair with Zion National Park, with landscape and nature photography, and with travel and exploration in general. This shot of a herd of bighorn sheep on the slopes of Checkerboard Mesa in Zion is the first photo I took in the park, and marked the point where I stopped shooting randomly as a tourist, and started to take photos with a purpose in mind.

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Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa

Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa
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It’s the halfway point of my 100 Days of National Parks Photo Series, and I wanted to mark it by going back to the photo that in many ways marked the beginning of my love affair with Zion National Park, with landscape and nature photography, and with travel and exploration in general.  This shot of a herd of bighorn sheep on the slopes of Checkerboard Mesa in Zion is the first photo I took in the park, and marked the point where I stopped shooting randomly as a tourist, and started to take photos with a purpose in mind.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 50 – Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park

One of Us

One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor. Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak. Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

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One of Us

 

One of Us
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One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor.  Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak.  Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park”