I got the opportunity to visit Zion National Park for Thanksgiving and get a little shooting done. This is my first ever star photo and I’m pretty proud of it. I was standing outside the Zion Canyon Museum where the lights were dim, which lit the trees in front of me. The moon was also out and very bright which lit the rock perfectly.
I had an amazing opportunity over the summer to take a photography class in Capitol Reef for one week. We learned how to conserve electricity and water, and slept for a week in the heat of July without air conditioning. It was actually an incredible experience. We had a chef cook all of our meals for us so we could focus on hiking and photographing. We spent every moment with each other and built some great relationships. At first it was exhausting hiking all the time, but by the time we had to go home I didn’t want it to end. There was no cell service or wireless internet. It was just us and the earth with not a care in the world.
The first thing we did when we arrived was take a stroll around the field station to check out some pictographs and this waterpocket we call “the bowl”.
The next morning we awoke before sunrise to hike Hickman Bridge and had fantastic light.
We got an opportunity to camp in Cathedral Valley. There was a huge storm, which made for some great photographs, but a terrifying sleepless night.
Our night in Cathedral Valley, we shot the sunset near Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. I used the same timelapse photography I use in most of my sunset images, but it was not as colorful as others.
On the way back to the field station we passed by an area with huge mud cracks and looked like a bunch of weirdos crouched on the ground photographing them.
We spent our last day in Escalante, at the Calf Creek Falls trail. For southern Utah it was so green and lush. It was definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
This is the last photo I took before leaving Capitol Reef. It’s the view facing east from the field station around sunrise.
The class was only a week long, but I learned more in that week than any semester-long photo class. It has definitely made my list of top five classes I’ve ever taken.
The sunset has an unyielding power to draw you in. To make you stop. To make you stare. To make you take a moment out of your hectic day and just be. It is the time of day we should all share and revere the God-given beauty that surrounds us. A spiritual meeting. The majesty of the sunrise and sunset is what has inspired me to stretch myself as an artist and catch the uncatchable.
Watching as the sky transform into shades of pink, orange, yellow, and red is stunning. The awed, meditative, peaceful feeling outside watching it all come together can never be fully portrayed in a photograph.These images bring together the intense beauty of nature and the creative control of software. Each is a timelapse wrapped up into one perfect moment.
We broke tradition this year and decided to go on a hike to Lake Blanche, Utah for Father’s Day/Dad’s Birthday. We don’t go as often as we used to, or nearly enough in general. It was a fantastic workout and gorgeous hike. As Dad says “Hiking isn’t just good for the body, but also for the soul.” And the pictures just don’t do it justice. The entire hike was secluded, green, and spectacular. It was a tough hike, but oh so worth it. We saw a few people on the way up, but when we got there we were completely alone which was mystical and will probably never happen again. A tip to those who enjoy nature and solitude, hike on a Monday morning.
Bells Canyon, Utah was kind of a spur of the moment hike. I wanted to go somewhere new. Little did I know, going somewhere new often means getting lost. We made it to the first reservoir without difficulty, then wandered off to an area that looked paved and trail-like until it got smaller and smaller and eventually disappeared. We did find some gorgeous areas that few people have ever seen. It was a fun little hike, but someday I will have to do the real thing.
I visited Angels Landing, Utah under unfortunate circumstances, though I am still very happy I got to experience it. My uncle passed away suddenly, so we planned a trip to St. George for the memorial and to scatter his ashes. He asked to have his ashes scattered on top of Angel’s Landing, a hike he and his brothers did when they were younger. Choosing to have your ashes scattered in such a place is a great idea. It brought the family together and got us to do something that probably would have never happened otherwise. It was an amazing hike! When people call it “extreme hiking” they are serious. The last stretch where you have to hold onto chains to keep from falling was pretty scary for some of us. I loved every moment of it. We even got a great family photo when we reached the top. The tragic event, in turn, gave us a great family experience and was a beautiful way to bring us together in his memory.
Photograph of my black and white tabby cat, Pixel.