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Author Topic: From Colorado to ...  (Read 9320 times)
araz
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« on: January 02, 2008, 07:37:09 PM »
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I'll be in Steamboat Springs Colorado in the first week of April on business and will then take the opportunity, while I'm there, to dedicate between 4 to 5 days to photography.

My primary goal is landscapes and I know there are plenty of national parks in that area but the question is where to go?  I don't have a good sense of distances but looking at a map, it looks like I can go north to Wyoming, south to New Mexico and Arizona or West to Utah.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated as this will be my first time in that area.

Araz
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 08:52:52 PM »
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In the winter I'd say your best best is definitely southeastern Utah.

You can get down to the area around Moab pretty quickly (Arches and Canyonlands are right there) and depending on how much time you have, explore further south. If you can get shots of the rock formations with snow on them you have a chance for some very unique images. In addition to the icons - Delicate Arch, Mesa Arch, Balanced Rock etc. - there are infinite other possibilities.

Me and a photog buddy were just down there right before Christmas and it was a really great trip (in this forum look for my Fishmouth Cave post).

Growing up in Colorado, and loving the mountains, in the past few years I have become totally captivated by Utah.

New Mexico is awesome too, but LOTS more drive time. That's worth a trip of its own.

Attached is a shot from Goblin Valley State Park in central Utah.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 09:50:38 AM »
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I'd definitely throw in my vote for southern Utah too.  I live half the year in the Colorado high country and am heading to Torrey Utah and surrounding area in april too.  This area is without a doubt one of my all time favorites for landscape work.  Eleanor

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In the winter I'd say your best best is definitely southeastern Utah.

You can get down to the area around Moab pretty quickly (Arches and Canyonlands are right there) and depending on how much time you have, explore further south. If you can get shots of the rock formations with snow on them you have a chance for some very unique images. In addition to the icons - Delicate Arch, Mesa Arch, Balanced Rock etc. - there are infinite other possibilities.

Me and a photog buddy were just down there right before Christmas and it was a really great trip (in this forum look for my Fishmouth Cave post).

Growing up in Colorado, and loving the mountains, in the past few years I have become totally captivated by Utah.

New Mexico is awesome too, but LOTS more drive time. That's worth a trip of its own.

Attached is a shot from Goblin Valley State Park in central Utah.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 11:24:48 AM »
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In terms of the density of great opportunities, as the others have indicated, Utah wins.
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Don Libby
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 01:54:36 PM »
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All this talk about Utah is making me think of jumping in the truck and visiting one of my most favorite areas, Moab, Canyonlands, Dead Horse State Park and of course Arches ....

Looking at the list above I almost forgot about Monument Valley!

Enjoy the trip...


don
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 02:53:49 PM »
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Capitol Reef near Torrey stands out as my favorite. Eleanor
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 05:31:55 PM »
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The Comb Ridge area outside Blanding is more becoming my favorite after each trip there. It has the highest concentration of Ancient Puebloan ruins anywhere.

Another tip: many of the best locations are found in hiking books - not photo books.

A Hiking Guide To Cedar Mesa by Peter Francis Tassoni is very informative though not always entirely accurate.

I've also heard good things about Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau by Michael R. Kelsey but I haven't read it.

From these books, you will likely have to scout these locations ahead of time to determine the time for best light.

For photo-specific books, there's a series of must-reads by Laurent Martres written for photogs visiting the Southwest:Photographing the Southwest.
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araz
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 08:10:05 AM »
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Thank you everyone.  Looks like southeastern Utah is the hands-down winner.  So that's where I'll go!

My next step is to map out all the places you mentioned and make a rough itinerary for myself.  I'm estimating 1 day for travel from Colorado to Utah and 1 day for the reverse trip back to Denver airport so that will leave me a total of 4 full days for photography + an extra sunset and sunrise.

What are my options for cheap lodging and food in that area.  All I really need is a place to crash for the night.  Also, should I stay at one place as my base or multiple places to be closer to various sites?

Sorry for the many questions but I don't have a good sense of the place and don't know what to expect.

Thanks again for all the suggestions,

Araz
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masl
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2008, 11:06:36 AM »
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Thank you everyone.  Looks like southeastern Utah is the hands-down winner.  So that's where I'll go!

My next step is to map out all the places you mentioned and make a rough itinerary for myself.  I'm estimating 1 day for travel from Colorado to Utah and 1 day for the reverse trip back to Denver airport so that will leave me a total of 4 full days for photography + an extra sunset and sunrise.

What are my options for cheap lodging and food in that area.  All I really need is a place to crash for the night.  Also, should I stay at one place as my base or multiple places to be closer to various sites?

Sorry for the many questions but I don't have a good sense of the place and don't know what to expect.

Thanks again for all the suggestions,

Araz
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164984\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Envious, love to visit SE Utah too.  Good time of year too, opportunities for very dramatic skys but warm enough that it's not a problem to get around.  A couple of tips:
Don't underestimate the drive back on I-70, it's really tough that time of year with storm systems and can be closed down.
Use highway 128 to get to Moab and give yourself some extra time for stopping along the way, some nice scenery along the way.
Lots of cheapish hotels in Moab for access to Arches, Canyonlands and Monument Valley.  I stayed at the "Sleep Inn", not expensive and closest to Arches.  There's a Denny's right outside of the Super8 if you're looking for very early breakfast.
Bring plastic bags, sand storms crop up fairly often and are a pretty big problem for camera gear.
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francois
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008, 11:32:21 AM »
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Thank you everyone.  Looks like southeastern Utah is the hands-down winner.  So that's where I'll go!

My next step is to map out all the places you mentioned and make a rough itinerary for myself.  I'm estimating 1 day for travel from Colorado to Utah and 1 day for the reverse trip back to Denver airport so that will leave me a total of 4 full days for photography + an extra sunset and sunrise.

What are my options for cheap lodging and food in that area.  All I really need is a place to crash for the night.  Also, should I stay at one place as my base or multiple places to be closer to various sites?

Sorry for the many questions but I don't have a good sense of the place and don't know what to expect.

Thanks again for all the suggestions,

Araz
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164984\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In addition to masl's suggestions: bring warm clothes and be careful on icy roads. If weather is fine, one day is plenty to go from Denver to Moab.
Good luck and have fun!
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Francois
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2008, 02:11:50 PM »
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Long as you seem to be taking I-70/Hwy 128, plan on a few hours in Fruita/Grand Junction for a visit to the Colorado National Monument.  It's about 7 miles from I-70 and features a rim-top drive through.  Nice intro to the red rock country you'll be visiting, and a great place for a picnic lunch even if the camera stays in the car.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2008, 10:57:07 AM »
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I agree that Moab will be your best central location. From there you can access all kinds of great stuff within relatively short drives (1-2 hour drive for the most remote locations).

I highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express in Moab. And for great pizza (all you can eat) make sure to go to Zax.

If you have the time you might want to drive down to Mule Canyon in Cedar Mesa... where you'll find the iconic House on Fire (or Fire Roof Ruin). Oft-photographed but really cool to see in person and not a difficult location to access. (Look in Martres' book and find the location on Google Earth).

I'm excited for you; I remember how absolutely amazed I was the first few times I visited the area - and I am still excited every time I go down there to explore something new. It's really an endless supply of great photo opps.

I'm looking forwsard to seeing some of your photographs from the trip!
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2008, 02:31:28 PM »
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I highly recommend the trail to Delicate Arch in Arches.  also the drive on the Burr Trail in between Escalante and Torrey is stunning.  Cathedral Valley near Capitol Reef is a fascinating drive but I recommend a 4 wheel drive to do this entire drive.  Zion also offers some great landscape photography opportunities but it further west.  eleanor
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araz
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2008, 07:10:36 PM »
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Thank you all for the great tips and extremely helpful information.  You have saved me literally hours of research time.  Also, I never realized that some of the great photos that I keep seeing on various websites are actually located in the southeastern Utah.  What an amazing concentration of photogenic landscapes.  I'm really looking forward to my trip.

From some of the online photos and descriptions, I'm trying to identify specific locations for sunrises and sunsets.  For example, it seems that Mesa Arch is the place to be for a sunrise as the sun hits the underbelly of the arch for a few seconds...  Or, Monument valley for sunset...  Any other tips for sunrise and sunset?

Can anyone tell me if the following photo was taken in southeastern Utah? http://www.peterlik.com/home.html then click on COLLECTIONS -> PANORAMIC -> and it's the third photo from the top left called "Ancient Spirit".  It's a landscape photo from the Australian photographer Peter Lik.  I've always admired this photo and if it's located in the area then I will attempt to capture it also.

Thanks again everyone and don't be shy to post more information if you think of something else as it is really helps me prepare for the trip.

I promise to post photos after my return in mid-April.  

Araz
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2008, 07:52:34 PM »
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Araz, this page is kind of hard to find on my site so I'll give you the direct link.  These are all photos taken in southern utah several years ago. this is typical of what you can see to photograph.  eleanor
http://web.mac.com/eleanorbrown/OLDER_WORK...older_work.html

Quote
Thank you all for the great tips and extremely helpful information.  You have saved me literally hours of research time.  Also, I never realized that some of the great photos that I keep seeing on various websites are actually located in the southeastern Utah.  What an amazing concentration of photogenic landscapes.  I'm really looking forward to my trip.

From some of the online photos and descriptions, I'm trying to identify specific locations for sunrises and sunsets.  For example, it seems that Mesa Arch is the place to be for a sunrise as the sun hits the underbelly of the arch for a few seconds...  Or, Monument valley for sunset...  Any other tips for sunrise and sunset?

Can anyone tell me if the following photo was taken in southeastern Utah? http://www.peterlik.com/home.html then click on COLLECTIONS -> PANORAMIC -> and it's the third photo from the top left called "Ancient Spirit".  It's a landscape photo from the Australian photographer Peter Lik.  I've always admired this photo and if it's located in the area then I will attempt to capture it also.

Thanks again everyone and don't be shy to post more information if you think of something else as it is really helps me prepare for the trip.

I promise to post photos after my return in mid-April.   

Araz
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Khurram
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2008, 03:27:34 PM »
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If you only have 4-5 days, i'd concentrate on Moab and Monument Valley.  In Moab, you could easily spend the entire time just doing Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horsepoint. However, as Monument Valley is only around 2-3 hours south west of Moab, i would not miss out on that either.

You can see some of my galleries for both at the following addresses:
http://www.pbase.com/kssphotography/moab_ut
http://www.pbase.com/kssphotography/monument_valley

You do also have the option of heading ne from Moab to Captial Reef and Bryce but if you only have 4-5 days, spending 4 days in Moab and 1 in MV is probably a better way to maximizing your shooting time.  There are of course numerous other places in Norther Arizona and southern Utah (Zion, Page, GC, Escalante, Coyotte Buttes, Sedona), but like i said, the two closet locations from CO are probably Moaba and MV.

I think the next time i goto Moab, I'm going to try and devote 5-6 days to Arches alone, as there is just so much to see there and you only have so many sunsets and sunrises on a short trip.

I think Arches can also be a treat in April, if there is some rain before you get in, as you have the oppertunity to get some nice reflections - something, i haven't been lucky enough to experience during my 5 trips there.  I've only gone there once in April and while i did have some good clouds a couple of photographers who had gotten in a week before i did said they were able to get some amazing reflections when they got there at the start of April.

there are plenty of fairly cheap motels in Moab (between $50-80/night).

Check the following:
http://www.discovermoab.com/hotels.htm

I personally prefer staying somewher where they have at least a small fridge, to store cold drinks.

As far as MV, there are some cheaper motels in Mexican Hat (25-30min away fromMV), but I'd recommend staying at Gouldings as it is closest to the park, which makes it easier to get out for sunrise.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2008, 08:45:15 PM »
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araz, the photo by Peter Lik that you asked about/linked to (Ancient Spirit) is False Kiva. It's in Canyonlands. I've been there several times; e-mail me if you want directions.
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skibum187
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2008, 01:34:54 PM »
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If you don't want to limit yourself simply to canyon country, I would also suggest driving through the San Juans in SW Colo on your way. Would be a little bit of a detour, but you can make it from Telluride to Moab in about 2.5 hours and 3 hours from Durango.
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kate61
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2008, 07:32:48 AM »
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Martres book (if you have it) also provides directions to False Kiva. Excellent book by the way!

While in Canyonlands (Island in the Sky), defininely take the time to go to Green River Overlook (and Grandview while you're there - it's not that much further). Dead Horse Point is awesome, but Green River Overlook is equally impressive imo.
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Hank
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2008, 10:13:09 AM »
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The first week of April will be about a month early for widlfowers in this region, but great for landscapes.  If you don't pick a general area and set up subjects for your 4-5 days, it's very easy simply to drive around that area with your mouth hanging open and you camera safely zipped in it's case.  It's all good, and often difficult to resist the urge to see what's around the next corner rather than devoting time to let the light develop in one location.  Sadly, I'm a little too well acquainted with that process.

But I would encourage you to focus on a few spots and get to know them well.

Another element to consider, and one which I would allow to drive my choice of destinations for each subsequent day-  The nightly weather forecast.  The rewards for storm chasing are immense in that region, with great skies and light trumping any previously planned venues.  I'd remain flexible enough to relocate into the paths of approaching storms or in their wakes, should any occur while you're there.  Balmy weather may be mroe comfortable and easier for driving, but it can also produce pretty bland photos.
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