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Author Topic: Zion Bryce Arches  (Read 5631 times)
kate61
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« on: June 20, 2007, 07:27:04 AM »
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Me again. Somewhat new question. Looks like Escalante is mostly out for this trip, will need to wait for next time. So... given two days in each location (Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef ( 1 day) and Arches )...  I'm wondering how'd you'd answer:

Whatever you do, don't miss __________________ !

Thanks!
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 08:57:43 AM »
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Out of Moab, don't miss Canyonlands (Mesa Arch plus the walk at the end) and Dead Horse Point.  I was happier with my shots from those 2 sites than I was from Arches - in part because you are much more focussed at the overlooks at Canyonlands and DHP. At Arches the good shots are all over the place and you have to be really, really selective to make best use of the early am/pm light.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007, 10:37:44 AM »
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I second Tim's recommendation for Dead Horse Point. IMHO, it's as good as the Grand Canyon.  Plan to spend the sunset there.

FREE camping in the BLM lands along the road to DHP is a truly fine wilderness
experience and it eliminates the drive back to Moab in the dark.

Again, agreeing wtih Tim, to see (and photograph) Arches at mid-day is a waste.  Low light is a must, morning or evening.

Lucky you!

Peter
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Win
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2007, 03:24:59 PM »
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I came in kind of late but read your last post, too. Zion is amazing and will be awesome. Be sure to do the Zion Narrows hike, the weather and water should be perfect. I love Zion but spend most of my time on the East Side of the tunnel, worth a couple of hours of your time. Maybe on the way to Bryce. Ask at the VC about Petroglyph Canyon.

Bryce is terrific for a day. The best hikes are the Peekaboo loop (I've done) or the Fairyland loop (not done it). You mentioned seeing a slot. If you rent an SUV you can go from Zion to Bryce via Skutempah Rd. Lick Wash, Bull Valley and Willis Creek are terrific. Willis Cr is true slot, easily accessed from the road.

Your going to drive from Bryce to Teasdale and go right thru Escalante. You might do the hike at Escalante St. Park, pretty neat Petrified Wood. Another option is to go down Hole in the Rock Rd about 10 miles to the Devil's Garden. Unique rock formations and suitable for a car. The hike to Lower Calf Creek falls is beautiful, I did it early last Sept.

The advise for Arches and Dead Horse seem right on.

My best piece of advise: Eat at Cafe Diablo in Torrey! Arguably the best restaraunt in Utah.

Have fun,
Win
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markhout
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2007, 09:26:02 PM »
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While we're on the subject, I spent 2 weeks last year in Colorado and Utah, and now want to try and move slightly farther south (north of Las Vegas). I recall that someone recommended a photography guide for that area - basically a list of the not-to-miss opportunities, particularly the ones outside of the tourist traps.

Couldn't find it through a search here, can someone help me out please?

The road to Bryce is below. Not to be missed either.

Thanks!

« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 09:26:57 PM by markhout » Logged

Don Libby
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2007, 10:26:20 PM »
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As much as I love Arches and Canyonlands in the Moab area I'd be remiss if I didn't also add Monument Valley a ride of about 90 minutes Southwest of Moab and about 60 minutes from Page and the Slot Canyons there.  So much to see with so little time......

I think if you would draw a 300 mile circle you'd have more than enough to keep you musy for years to come.  It's approx 275 miles between Moab UT and Page AZ.

don
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JoeCF
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 01:58:01 AM »
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Sunrise at Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon (don't give it up too soon, sometimes the light is very interesting an hour or so after sunrise)
Rim trail from Sunrise Point to Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon
Night sky at Bryce Canyon (any place away from the lights).
Dead Horse Point
A drive East from Bryce on Highway 12 through Escalante to Boulder.
The narrows at Zion (take some old sneakers for wading)
sunrise and sunset with the Arches of your choice
Lower calf creek falls (highway 12)

Try to find some time to stop and feel the air.  It is very easy to rush from point to point in southern Utah and not take the time to really feel the magic.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 11:01:06 AM »
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If you like to day-hike and aren't afraid of heights, Angel's Landing trail in Zion is one of the most stunning hikes I've ever done (and I've done plenty).

Lisa
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kate61
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2007, 09:08:20 AM »
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Thanks everyone... I wish I had a month!
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kate61
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 06:59:54 AM »
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Lisa - your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I know it's more about the photographer than the camera, but I'm curious what camera you are using. Also, did you do much/any Photoshopping - photo blending?? Been reading some lately about using HDR to deal with shots with exposure extremes ... want to try to experiment some with that (or at least be prepared to).  Any filters? Exposure tips - esp on those with bright sun and deep shade in same picture?
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 12:14:56 PM »
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First and foremost: Dead Horse Point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(like everyone else hasn't already convinced you, right?)

Arches: Get yourself insanely early to the north window arch, like way before sunrise even thinks about being sunrise, and wait it out - I got some stellar chromes years ago (in July) of the sun rising *through* the arch. Sunset I'd have to recommend Delicate Arch, but be prepared to pass out from the heat...

Bryce: Any of the points for sunrise and sunset - make sure to do both - just pick your favorite view

Zion: Yea, if you've got nerves of titanium, Angels Landing hike - I'm a wimp and there was no way I could tackle THAT hike, but if you don't mind heights and 1000' drop offs on both sides of you, it's amazing from everything I've seen or heard. Outside of that - I just liked being around the patriarchs late in the afternoon/early sunset and in the AM.

Canyonlands: Man, what a nice place. Just explore...

-m
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 12:37:10 PM »
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Quote
Lisa - your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I know it's more about the photographer than the camera, but I'm curious what camera you are using. Also, did you do much/any Photoshopping - photo blending?? Been reading some lately about using HDR to deal with shots with exposure extremes ... want to try to experiment some with that (or at least be prepared to).  Any filters? Exposure tips - esp on those with bright sun and deep shade in same picture?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=126043\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for your kind words!  At the time of my Utah trip (if those were the photos you were mostly looking at), I was using a Nikon D70 with the kit 18-70 mm lens.  (I've since moved up to a D200 with the 18-200 VR lens, which is what the most recent photos on the web site are from.  Some of the older ones were with an old Canon film SLR with negative film, which is very forgiving of large dynamic range situations.)   I haven't used HDR much - I find it easier to just stretch the dynamic range in the raw converter (using ACR's exposure and shadow sliders), and then tweak it using Curves in PS, for all but the most extreme cases.  A polarizer helps sometimes, sometimes a great deal, but that's the only filter I use.  I tried HDR blending in PS a couple of times, but it tends to come out with weird-looking or artificial-looking results when I use it; it probably takes more practice to get something that looks good.

Lisa
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kate61
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2007, 06:54:08 AM »
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Your photo of Island in the Sky is spectacular - almost surreal. Was that one of your D70/18-70mm pics? From Dead Horse Point?? Early morning? Any filters? Any post-processing? (I don't suppose you'd share your exposure info ...). I decided to make the switch from film SLR to digital this weekend (carry a Canon S3 for casual shooting but have used film for more serious ventures... decided to make the leap this weekend). Did lots of reading and given budget thought I'd go with the Nikon D80 & 18-200, but once I got to the camera shop the D80 grip felt huge so I'm still hunting - I assume the D200 is as large or larger?).  (sorry to stray from the "Landscape Locations" topic a bit ...)
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2007, 09:40:38 PM »
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Quote
Your photo of Island in the Sky is spectacular - almost surreal. Was that one of your D70/18-70mm pics? From Dead Horse Point?? Early morning? Any filters? Any post-processing? (I don't suppose you'd share your exposure info ...). I decided to make the switch from film SLR to digital this weekend (carry a Canon S3 for casual shooting but have used film for more serious ventures... decided to make the leap this weekend). Did lots of reading and given budget thought I'd go with the Nikon D80 & 18-200, but once I got to the camera shop the D80 grip felt huge so I'm still hunting - I assume the D200 is as large or larger?). (sorry to stray from the "Landscape Locations" topic a bit ...)

Yes, that was with the D70/18-70 (and that was pretty much my favorite photo from that trip, too).  There was nothing special about the exposure (1/125 sec at f/9), and I might have been using a polarizer (or maybe not).  It wasn't from Dead Horse Point, but from Canyonlands proper - one of the viewpoints farther south than DHP, towards the tip of the mesa (an area I personally thought was a bit more interesting than DHP).  That photo was actually a "making the best of a bad situation" sort of situation - it was taken around midday, and was unfortunately looking south, close to the sun, so it started out hazy and with pretty poor contrast.  I did a little playing with the contrast, color balance and saturation in Photoshop to make it look better, which must have been the source of the slightly surreal look (but the place was pretty darned surreal to begin with!).  In case you're curious, I posted two reduced-sized jpgs of it, one the straight-out-of-the-camera jpg, the other a reduced-size final version (based on a RAW file):
camera jpg
final processed version

Regarding cameras, I'm surprised you thought the D80 felt too big (unless it's your first experience with an SLR camera).  I have quite small hands, and thought the D70 fit them very well, and I could carry the D70/18-70 around almost indefinitely in my hand comfortably.  The D200 is somewhat heavier than the D70, and the 18-200 VR lens is also somewhat heavier than the 18-70, so I find that combo gets tiring for me to hold in one hand for more than a few minutes; it goes back in the shoulder bag much quicker than the D70/18-70 combo.  My impression is that the D200 is sized for about the same size hands in terms of active use; it's just heavier with overall larger dimensions.  (The 18-200, while heavier than the 18-70, is still amazingly small and light for something with such a larger zoom range, which is the main reason I love it.)  When I got the D200, the D80 wasn't out yet; if it had been, I probably would have gotten the latter instead because it's smaller and lighter.  (I upgraded from the D70 to the D200 mainly to get more pixels.)

Lisa
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 09:45:07 PM by nniko » Logged

kate61
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2007, 06:50:29 AM »
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 In case you're curious, I posted two reduced-sized jpgs of it, one the straight-out-of-the-camera jpg, the other a reduced-size final version (based on a RAW file):
camera jpg
final processed version

Ah! Quite a difference!

Regarding cameras, I'm surprised you thought the D80 felt too big (unless it's your first experience with an SLR camera).

Am coming from an N70 which has smaller grip than D80. D80 grip seems "deep" to me and I do have small hands.  It was a rushed test just to get a feel, but since I think it's the best camera in the price range I can afford, and since I have nikon lenses, I'll give it a longer look. Other option is the Canon D30 but that would require new lenses and more $$.   (again, sorry about talking gear in a "location" forum ... )
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trainzman
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2007, 07:44:37 PM »
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I was able to visit many of the places mentioned during a two week trip in April of this year. Every day brought new vistas that just begged to be photographed.

Zion was almost a pain in the neck because I was constantly looking up at the spectacular scenery. A Bryce you are looking mostly down so it's easier on the neck. The short hike to a small water fall near Mossy Cave off of highway 12, about  miles east of the road entrance to Bryce, was simple but interesting and not crowded. The views from the various lookouts were stunning, as advertised.

Island in the Sky at Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point also had fantastic views from their lookouts. The hike to the southern tip of Island in the Sky was easy and worth the walk. As was mentioned, Arches has its wonders somewhat spread out making it difficult to get them all in the best light during a short trip. The nice thing there is that you can walk right up to and under most of the arches and other wonders giving you that ant-at-a-picnic point of view. One of my favorites was Sand Dune Arch. Surrounded by other formations, it wasn't so big that it was out of scale. Rounding out the Utah parks were Natural Bridges, Capitol Reef and Kodachrome, each with its own charm, vistas and hikes.

Near Las Vegas were two easily accessible parks, Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. Both let you get close to their natural wonders and and offer interesting points of view.

Rounding out my visit I made a quick side trip to Death Valley for more spectacular views. Sometimes after admiring the vast beauty of the landscapes, you should look down and notice some of the small wonders right at your feet. Some great pictures are down there just waiting to be made into images.

Is was a short two weeks, not nearly enough time to really see and photograph the natural wonders but a great introduction to them anyway.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2007, 08:16:17 PM »
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Another vote for Dead Horse Point SP.  The visitor center, of all places, is a great sunset location.  Also check out the Green River lookout there.

Canyonlands has a lot of great locations: Mesa Arch, the so-called False Kiva, to name just two.

Paul

http://www.pbase.com/pauls/canyonlands
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2007, 09:11:33 PM »
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For the most part, you've seen Bryce if you've see one image of the main bowl.  IMO it is only worth doing if there is some exrteme atmospheric disturbance to set your images apart from the thousands of others that all look identical. Beyond that, you could brave the heat and go down inside and do isolations of the hoodoos, but IMO your time is better spent elsewhere.  

I would suggest Zion is worthy of two full days at the very least, and three would be better.  Then you need a good chunk of the mid day to get to Moab, the base location for Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point SP.  So I would forget Capital Reef too, though you pass it between Zion and Moab, and spend the other half of your time in Moab and its surrounds.

My .02,
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 09:17:13 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

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