2016 Utah Trip

Photo Notes


The Curtain - This seems to be slightly better as a late afternoon/sunset shot. The best angle is on the right side and as high and far to the right as you can get on the surrounding dirt mounds.

Alien City - Allow 2 hours to drive there and get to parking area. The hike from the parking area near the two red hills is only about a mile from Alien City. Allow lots of time to photograph this area! Start on the right and go counter-clockwise around the "hill" that includes the Alien City. Be sure NOT to miss the Giant Mushroom ( 36.149250°, -107.980510°). The Alien Throne ( 36.148788°, -107.980709°) is very easy to find and a great place to shoot "star bursts" through the holes in the formation as the afternoon sun nears the horizon. There was lots of petrified wood in the west-side washes and a cool stump at ( 36.147723°, -107.978958°).

Monument Valley

Be sure to hike the trail behind North Window. It provides a great view north to the main formations. This is a morning shot.

Natural Bridges

Most of the bridges are best shot in the morning, especially in fall. Horse Collar Ruins needs to be shot in the morning because the alcove is in the shade in the afternoon. Sipopu Bridge is best shot from the first turnout AFTER the main parking area for it. Hike out to a point west of the turnout for a good angle. This is a morning shot.

Fallen Roof Ruins

Shooting from "normal" left side front has huge ugly area just to the right of the ruins. It can't be cropped and still keep all of fallen roof in image. Try shooting from right front, but not at the acute angle that provides only a side view of the ruins. See if there is any support area to shoot from right-center and still give more of a front-on shot.

Canyonlands - Needles

Shay Canyon Petroglyphs

If shooting in the fall, the petroglyphs need to be shot with overcast skies. The morning and afternoon light reflects off the shiny sandstone surfaces and makes it very difficult to get good shots of the petroglyphs. Color and saturation is very uneven across larger surfaces.

Burr Trail

Shoot the arches on the hike to Strike Valley Overlook in the morning. The triple arch needs to be lit. The best shot of the arch is from directly below it so you can see sky through the arches. Strike Valley Overlook is an late afternoon shot, so it may require 2 trips.

Cathedral Valley

Temple of the Sun & Temple of the Moon

The sun sets behind the canyon walls at about 5:45 in the fall, so we need to be there about 5:00. The rock used for the foreground image of Temple of the Sun is at 38, 26' 47.052000" 111, 11' 33.564000". The temple is better at sunset, but the ridges of the rock are lit better at sunrise.

About 4:00, the temples west of Temple of the Moon and nearer the canyon walls are lit and should be explored. By 5:00, they are in the shade.

Wall of Jericho

Take time to explore this area. There is a gap in the wall toward the west end. Find a parking place and hike through gap to photograph the wall from the opposite side in afternoon.

Temples Just West of Wall of Jericho

There are two very cool temples on a small ridge north of the road. In sunset lighting, they could be spectacular.

Bryce Canyon

Be sure to hike the Queens Garden Trail in the morning also. Take the dead-end side trail up the canyon. It leads to my favorite ridge of formations and a side trail goes right up behind the ridge for good morning lighting. The loop is also a great late afternoon hike from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point.