Utah has never been high on my list of places to visit. Having grown up in an arid, dusty landscape (northern Pakistan), I always gravitated towards greenery and the ocean. A couple of things happened that gradually changed that sentiment. First, as my interest in landscape photography grew, I kept encountering striking images out of Utah (and the Colorado Plateau in general). Then, along came an HBO series called “Westworld”. Shot primarily in that part of the country, the show opened my eyes to some truly stunning high-desert, Mars-red, weirdness-popping out-of-the-Earth scenery. Finally, a flight from Denver to Southern California on a crisp day with clear views of this otherworldly landscape below, provided the push I needed to mobilize and visit this place.
My wife and I just returned from a whirlwind photography tour/vacation travelling by car through some of the most intriguing parts of the United States. We were on the road for 26 days with 19 of them focused on capturing images along our route. In all we covered 10,187 kilometres (6,330 miles).
Here is the promised panoramic version of the Dead Horse Point at sunrise. The full version is comprised of 8 vertical images, measuring approximately 32 megapixels with an aspect ratio of 2:1.
Well, technically, it was Grand Junction, not Utah. I had a very busy four day business trip to Grand Junction, CO and after spending countless hours taking care of a problem at work, I had a pleasure of visiting Moab, UT on the last day for a few hours. Woke up very early in the morning at around 3:45 AM and headed out to Dead Horse Point to make it there right before the sunrise. As I was driving the last 10 miles to get to the park, I saw seven cars slowly driving through the steep turns of Canyonlands. Who else would be driving that early? A group of photographers, of course! I was first following them, but then they were too slow and I was hurrying to get to the right spot at least 30 minutes before sunrise. So I stepped on gas and passed all seven cars at 90 miles an hour. I could tell they were pissed! Oh well, I wasn’t going to miss sunrise after 2+ hours of driving.
Our readers kindly asked us to provide high resolution versions of Delicate Arch and Sunrise shots from my last trip to Utah, to be used as desktop wallpapers. Here are the two images in 2560×1600 resolution for widescreen monitors:
This is the second part of my trip log to Utah.
As we wrapped up Arches, we headed up to Canyonlands National Park while the weather was still OK. Afternoon at Canyonlands turned out to be rather productive and the sky got filled up with some gorgeous multi-layered clouds:
I have been putting off working the Utah images for a while and I have finally decided to finish working on them this weekend. I decided to divide the photos to two parts – the first part is primarily Arches National Park and the second part is Canyonlands National Park. Although we spent about three full days in Utah, the weather did not cooperate half of the time, so we tried to shoot as much as we could while it lasted. On top of that, as I have indicated before, I lost about 8 gigs of photos from the last two days. Hope you enjoy these!
To be honest, I have not even had a chance to review all images from my Utah trip yet. One of the reasons is probably my frustration over the lost 8 GB of photographs, because of my own stupidity. I was so tired on the day we came back from the trip, that I completely forgot that I had photos from the last two days of the trip stored on one of the 8 GB flash cards that I had in my bag. I copied everything but that one card and never checked all of the images, assuming that I had everything.
I’m finally back from Utah after a 7 hour drive from Moab. To get home before midnight, Sergey and I left a little early and missed the last sunset. The weather sucked during the last two days (we had 3.5 days total), so we only had a day and a half of good shooting. Nevertheless, I managed to snap 25 gigs of images, but I already know that most photos are going to be deleted. This was the first time when I tried shooting HDR panoramas in three rows and processing those images is going to be a very long and painful process. We only had time to check out some good spots at Arches and Canyonlands, although we did visit a couple of good spots for photography in the area.
This first pic is a 30 megapixel image that was composed from 9 vertical exposures. I was planning to make it a panoramic image, but then the left side looked a little odd, so I cropped it to look like a normal image.