Saturday, May 7, 2016



This morning we were the second group to Horseshoe Bend, and there were only six of us there to start. Gradually more people showed up but there was no crowd.
This is an iconic view of the bend of the Colorado River as it flows through Northern Arizona just East of Page, AZ. As you can see it is a challenge photographically because of the deep canyon and the sun having to get down to the river level. Because of the extreme contrast between the bright canyon edge on the top and the river it makes for a good reason to try HDR, shooting for a high dynamic range. I did this and do like the results. Remember that the human eye can see a range of about 11 stops of light, while a camera in a single shot can only expose for about 5 stops of light, from black to white. By using the HDR software the image can record about twelve stops of light. 

Horseshoe Bend, AZ
After enjoying the view as the sun starts to descend into the canyon, we headed back for breakfast. We then packed our gear for the minimum needed for a two night camp out, and headed back to Secret Canyon for another chance to shoot it. This morning it became over cast and did not portend a good shoot in the slot. Generally you want full sun, almost directly overhead for this type of shooting. We were going to cancel the tour but the owner offered us the time for only the lost deposit. So … we took off again for Secret Canyon. 

Secret Canyon 28-20

Secret Canyon 28-31

Secret Canyon 28-41

Secret Canyon 28-49
Secret Canyon 28-57

Secret Canyon 28-58

Back in Page, we transferred to my car and headed out to meet our guides to White Pocket, Grand Staircase Discovery Tours.
White Pocket is a sandstone area in the Vermillion Cliffs area of Northern Arizona. It is full of many different formations and swirls. It is reached by four wheel drive as there are areas of low clearance, and soft sand to be navigated. (My first visit to it in 2013 we had to help a foreign couple out of the soft sand in their rented sedan.) 

After an almost two hour drive to White Pocket we tumbled out of the car and set about establishing our campsite. We each were given a tent, a thick air mattress, and two sleeping bags for our comfort. It was quite windy but soon we were all set to go explore the area with cameras, tripods, jackets, and gloves. 

White Pocket 28-59

Pedestal, White Pocket

Sundae Swirl 1

Sundae Swirl 2

Sundae Swirl w. Whipped Cream

Back in camp we enjoyed a warming camp stew and cornbread. After dinner it was time to get in out of the wind, set up our tents for sleeping and “hit the hay”.

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