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Author Topic: 5 day trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix  (Read 5491 times)
espressogeek
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« on: March 16, 2008, 07:23:06 PM »
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After much consideration and discussion a colleague of mine and I are taking a five day trip one way photo trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix. Our goal is to take in Monument Valley in the middle of the trip with a few things before and after. We have scheduled this trip during a full moon so night shots might be possible. I would appreciate input and advice on our plans. I will try to summarize the trip as I see it below.

1. Day 1 - Fly in and catch Ship Rock at sunset. I have tried to find directions to this place on the net and have been rather unsuccessful. Are their signs anywhere pointing to it? After shooting Ship Rock we will travel to Monument Valley at night. Can you shoot the mittens from the visitor center at night? If not is there a way to obtain a guide for the late evenings?

2. Day 2 - Catch sunrise at Monument Valley at the Mittens. I have shot this before and I did not know what a ND grad was then. In reviewing my photos I thought that a  three stop soft edge grad would be most appropriate here. Suggestions? Perhaps a reverse ND?

We plan to venture down into the valley and perhaps take a jeep tour as I would like to photograph the "Ear of the Wind". Can anyone recommend a particular guide for this?

During midday I will need some rest and time to download everything. Late in the afternoon I would like to find some shots that detail the sand and what not with side lighting if possible. I plan to conclude daylight hours with the classic sunset on the Mittens. Perhaps some more night shooting if possible later that evening.

3.  Day 3 - I have been told there is a nice vantage point up 163 that overlooks the valley. Are there any other good vantage points that I can take advantage of during the next sunrise?

Late in the morning we plan to drive to Page if we didn't do it the day before. I would like to tour lower antelope and take some shots around Horseshoe bend in the late afternoon. Then we drive on to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon that night.

4. Day 4 - Sunrise at the Grand Canyon. I doubt there will be any good clouds but it would still be nice to see. Can anyone suggest a vantage point where I can get some great side lighting off the canyon features in the morning in case the sky is total crap? On my previous trip I ended up shooting straight into the sun and I would like to avoid that if possible.

Late morning we will begin to drive to Phoenix. Once there we would like to shoot something that afternoon if we can work it in. I was thinking of driving over to Lost Dutchman Park and poking around there. Suggestions?

5. Day 5 - We leave that afternoon around 3. Any suggestions on something to shoot that morning? We might be to tired but it would be nice to have something in mind.


I apologize for the long winded post. Originally the plans were a bit different but I didn't know that you had to have a permit for the Wave. I plan to go back next year and take a different route to photograph the Wave and some other sights farther north. I have no idea when in 2009 that will be, it is all up to my luck in getting the permit in January. Any advice you can offer is appreciated. Thanks!
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Adam Schallau
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 10:58:42 AM »
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Here is a link to a map of the Ship Rock area. As you leave Farmington you will see Ship Rock on the western horizon. When you get to the town of Shiprock take highway 491 south to BIA-13 (Red Rock Hwy). Follow BIA-13 west a few miles to the volcanic dike and turn north onto the dirt road. There ya go, you're at Ship Rock. Please keep in mind that Ship Rock is sacred to the Navajo people.

I wish I could help you with finding a guide, but my only experience with a guide left my wife and I stranded overnight in the desert south of Monument Valley. The gates to Monument Valley close in the evening. The only way that I know to shoot the mittens overnight and at sunrise is to camp in the designated camp ground within Monument Valley.

I hope this helps.

Adam


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After much consideration and discussion a colleague of mine and I are taking a five day trip one way photo trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix. Our goal is to take in Monument Valley in the middle of the trip with a few things before and after. We have scheduled this trip during a full moon so night shots might be possible. I would appreciate input and advice on our plans. I will try to summarize the trip as I see it below.

1. Day 1 - Fly in and catch Ship Rock at sunset. I have tried to find directions to this place on the net and have been rather unsuccessful. Are their signs anywhere pointing to it? After shooting Ship Rock we will travel to Monument Valley at night. Can you shoot the mittens from the visitor center at night? If not is there a way to obtain a guide for the late evenings?

2. Day 2 - Catch sunrise at Monument Valley at the Mittens. I have shot this before and I did not know what a ND grad was then. In reviewing my photos I thought that a  three stop soft edge grad would be most appropriate here. Suggestions? Perhaps a reverse ND?

We plan to venture down into the valley and perhaps take a jeep tour as I would like to photograph the "Ear of the Wind". Can anyone recommend a particular guide for this?

During midday I will need some rest and time to download everything. Late in the afternoon I would like to find some shots that detail the sand and what not with side lighting if possible. I plan to conclude daylight hours with the classic sunset on the Mittens. Perhaps some more night shooting if possible later that evening.

3.  Day 3 - I have been told there is a nice vantage point up 163 that overlooks the valley. Are there any other good vantage points that I can take advantage of during the next sunrise?

Late in the morning we plan to drive to Page if we didn't do it the day before. I would like to tour lower antelope and take some shots around Horseshoe bend in the late afternoon. Then we drive on to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon that night.

4. Day 4 - Sunrise at the Grand Canyon. I doubt there will be any good clouds but it would still be nice to see. Can anyone suggest a vantage point where I can get some great side lighting off the canyon features in the morning in case the sky is total crap? On my previous trip I ended up shooting straight into the sun and I would like to avoid that if possible.

Late morning we will begin to drive to Phoenix. Once there we would like to shoot something that afternoon if we can work it in. I was thinking of driving over to Lost Dutchman Park and poking around there. Suggestions?

5. Day 5 - We leave that afternoon around 3. Any suggestions on something to shoot that morning? We might be to tired but it would be nice to have something in mind.
I apologize for the long winded post. Originally the plans were a bit different but I didn't know that you had to have a permit for the Wave. I plan to go back next year and take a different route to photograph the Wave and some other sights farther north. I have no idea when in 2009 that will be, it is all up to my luck in getting the permit in January. Any advice you can offer is appreciated. Thanks!
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Adam Schallau
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espressogeek
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 11:49:25 AM »
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Thanks for the Shiprock link, that is perfect. I try to be very respectful the wishes of the locals and I am thankful they let us photograph their treasures. Are there any particulars I should be aware of  regarding shiprock?

"I wish I could help you with finding a guide, but my only experience with a guide left my wife and I stranded overnight in the desert south of Monument Valley."

That is terrible! Did you both make it out OK?

I have walked up to the visitor center before sunrise by leaving my car at the gate. This was in April 2006. Otherwise I could not have captured any sunrise or sunrise photos. Can I not do the same thing at night to get some night shots of the mittens? Are there any vantage points I can work up the road with a telephoto? We have already booked our hotel so camping is not really an option. Perhaps I would be open to this if there is a next time around as I have realized for me to photograph some places that I would like to shoot I will have to get used to camping and treking.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 11:54:37 AM by espressogeek » Logged
Adam Schallau
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 12:15:55 PM »
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Thanks for the Shiprock link, that is perfect. I try to be very respectful the wishes of the locals and I am thankful they let us photograph their treasures. Are there any particulars I should be aware of  regarding shiprock?

Don't climb on it.

Quote
"I wish I could help you with finding a guide, but my only experience with a guide left my wife and I stranded overnight in the desert south of Monument Valley."

That is terrible! Did you both make it out OK?

We were fine, but my wife was a bit upset. It was a cold night with lots of creepy crawlies. The guide's jeep broke-down and he was unprepared with no radio, water, signaling device, or radio/phone. We were the last tour of the day and no one discovered that we had not come back at our expected time. I had my Camelback with me along with waterproof matches, a little food, a strobe, and signal flares. Yeah, I was prepared but I was in Search and Rescue for almost 14 years.   I wasn't worried because I knew we would be found in the morning when they discovered that a jeep was missing.

In the end we were picked up in the early morning before sunrise. When the tour guide's company got a phone call from a relative that he had not returned home that evening they sent a couple of guys out to look for us. We could see them driving aimlessly all over the desert so I fired a flare. They saw the flare and came right to us. Was the flare necessary? Probably not but it sped up the recovery and it made my wife feel better. And for those of you that are reading this I wouldn't have launched a signal flare if I felt their were chances of starting a wildfire.

Quote
I have walked up to the visitor center before sunrise by leaving my car at the gate. This was in April 2006. Otherwise I could not have captured any sunrise or sunrise photos. Can I not do the same thing at night to get some night shots of the mittens? Are there any vantage points I can work up the road with a telephoto? We have already booked our hotel so camping is not really an option. Perhaps I would be open to this if there is a next time around as I have realized for me to photograph some places that I would like to shoot I will have to get used to camping and treking.
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[a href=\"http://www.navajonationparks.org/]I would discuss your options with the Navajo Parks & Recreation Department.[/url]
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Adam Schallau
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espressogeek
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 01:36:17 PM »
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I wont climb the rock. I am to much of a wimp anyway. ;-)

That is a good story and an excellent example of why we should always prepare when we are out in this sort of environment. I will be honest it is something I did not consider. I don't have a flare gun but perhaps a bright flashlight would have some even if less obvious than a flare. I have thought of taking my ham radio transceiver but I am not sure if there are any VHF/UHF operators within reach of the place.

I will contact the Navajo Park and recreation department and see about night access.

Thanks again!
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Adam Schallau
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2008, 02:04:48 PM »
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I wont climb the rock. I am to much of a wimp anyway. ;-)

That is a good story and an excellent example of why we should always prepare when we are out in this sort of environment. I will be honest it is something I did not consider. I don't have a flare gun but perhaps a bright flashlight would have some even if less obvious than a flare. I have thought of taking my ham radio transceiver but I am not sure if there are any VHF/UHF operators within reach of the place.

I will contact the Navajo Park and recreation department and see about night access.

Thanks again!
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I would not recommend a flare gun and it's something I no longer carry, especially when you consider how dry most of the western states have been. The newer LED flashlights are amazingly bright and can be seen for several miles when in a wilderness environment. Signal mirrors are great for daytime use.
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Adam Schallau
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espressogeek
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2008, 02:20:47 PM »
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Duly noted. Thanks!

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I would not recommend a flare gun and it's something I no longer carry, especially when you consider how dry most of the western states have been. The newer LED flashlights are amazingly bright and can be seen for several miles when in a wilderness environment. Signal mirrors are great for daytime use.
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camilla
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2008, 08:09:41 AM »
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hi
could you say when this trip is taking place?
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espressogeek
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2008, 08:47:05 AM »
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Sure we will be traveling to NM on May 17th.

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hi
could you say when this trip is taking place?
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dabreeze
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 11:56:36 PM »
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the easternmost vista points on the south rim will be best for a probably cloudless sunrise. side and front lit buttes from desert view, navajo or moran points will give you the not directly into the sun perspective you're looking for. coming from page, you'll be coming in from cameron on hwy 64 and entering the park at the east end. the three vistas mentioned will be right after you enter.

oh and horseshoe bend is really best at sunrise rather than sunset. catch it very early in reflected light only and use a 2 stop hard gnd at least to balance the sky. wide angle of <20mm and get to the edge but not over!! much better for a page sunset are the rock formations above and along waterholes canyon. a $6 navajo hiking permit for the 200 yd walk onto reservation land can be purchased at the upper antelope kiosk. they should be able to guide you there. it's right on 89A about five minutes south of the turnoff for horseshoe bend. google leroy dejolie and waterholes and i'll bet you come up with some of his famous images from this swirling sandstone playground!!

good luck,

derek von briesen
sedona, arizona
www.dvbphotography.com
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