Farewell to Maob, farewell to Eric. He knew every inch of this place like the back of his hand. Everybody goes in his direction. New friends, few words.
Our destination for the day is Page, we finally reach Kanab. Short branch out to the Valley of the Gods. It’s a lovely place, a bit of haze, not the best of light.
Before the border to Arizona the rocks of Monument Valley build up and we let it pass us over a pass road.
This region belongs to the Navajo nativ Americans. A tribal park is signposted. A packed car stops beneath us, a young man likely nativ steps out and begs for money in obscure language. His tongue is lame, probably due to the long-term effects of incorporated substances. Sad.
It is not the worst thing to have a light and variable cloudiness with sunny parts dominating the day. Our first stop is Needles Overlook, which offers another opportunity to see the erosion of Colorado River.
In the afternoon we drove our car, which had been baptized Blue Ganesha, a road to Tower Arch that was only approved to 4WD. Thanks to the excellent driving skills of our driver Eric, we not only reached the finish line, but also found our way back to the hotel. He was entitled for a free dinner.
Tower arch is a rock formation that resembles an islamic fortress. Only few reached this place. Good for photographers.
In Arches National Park one is ubiquitously filled with beauty. Unfortunately not everything can be reproduced photographically. Only some things lead to beautiful images.
The raven was not alone. The birds had specialized in parking lots. They should not be fed, of course.
The red rocks ar richly structured. Some structures were created in millions of years by the erosion of the water, some by rockfall. The Green River and the Colorado River meet here and form a confluence.
Famous became Balanced Rock. The picture explains everything.
Near the Courthouse Tower. You can guess how judges deliberate.
The Arches National Park is located between the Henry Mountains in the west and the La Sal Mountains in the east.
Who’d thought it ? The company that supplies me with printerpaper named itself after a place in Utah, which is located in Arches national Park. There is certainly no deeper wisdom behind it. Leaving Escalante via Capital Reef National Park. There one could marvel at petroglyphs. If you turned around, wonderfully white trees shone towards you.
Similarly, the name Dead Horse Point does not make sense for a geological formation of the Colorado River, which shows a footpath near a bend of the river that runs together with the river. These tracks will certainly be less persistent and pass away faster than the whole valley.
From the beginning we had to reveal how long we would stay in Escalante. A hike to the slot canyons Peek-a-Boo, Spooky and Dry Fork put a quick end to all wishful thinking. Very narrow Canyons, little promising light and sometimes difficult climbs made this clear to us.
On a pleasant morning we got first to Devil’s garden.
The narrow canyons were the work of erosion caused by water flowing fast for a long time – long ago. The reflections of sunlight on the walls of these aka slot canyons occasionally created a shimmer of orange and rosé at the bottom which was promising to photograph.
At the end of the day we were given the best light in the world. Grand Staircase is a great natural spectacle that surprises again and again. Don’t count your chicken before they hatch.
Early morning at Zabriskie Point before leaving for Escalante. Many photographers with us. It is cold. No flashes so far. A women sits on a camping seat enjoying the scene with her eyes only.
A long drive to Escalante follows. Along the borders of Zion. More and more snow. Camping in wilderness wouldn’t be fun. Dixie National forest welcomes us.
Thirty years ago we came over from Arizona to hike in Bryce Canyon. At that time our hike was very extensive and lasted one day. We took an overview at the end of the day which was sobering, almost disappointing.
Today was no time left for a hike. At Sunset Point we made some photographs with snow and a path downwards not showing where it is heading to.
We had a whole day available to drive from Mojave to Furnace Creek. The morning began hazily and with scattered dust devils. At the Pinnacles we go a real sandstorm.
The long straight streets with poles often make me dream of an infinite world.
A sandstorm lets you stop all thoughts about infinity. Suddenly the safety of the equipment becomes much more important.
This train is on a siding for decades. The diffusion effect of the sandstorm showed the abandonment nicely.
After check-in in our incredibly expensive, but the only hotel in the area we immediately headed for Zabriskie Point. These structures show no scale at all and allow the imagination to run wild.
Personally I liked most a wild boar at the south end.
Today gusty winds at Tunnel View. I didn’t feel challenged to leave a fully extended tripod to the gusts. With low setup and the cheaper camera with long focal length I made a composition of the valley. We only had one hour, which was far too short at the end. It was, so to say, the last elephant of this safari.
The violent gusts the night before had toppled many trees. Over Route 140 we could still leave the valley and drove via Fresno and Bakersfield to Mojave. Behind Bakersfield we drove through a gentle hilly landscape with green meadows. Often only the hilltops were inhabited and the beautiful houses were surrounded by trees.
A single tree seemed to stand out in the skies.
The eye is easily deceived. Especially when working at a screen. Early printing, starting with low contrast, simultaneous editing of several images, pausing is part of Charles („Charly“) Cramers recipes. The necessary development times in the analogue laboratory, not least the drying process, always forced the photographer to interrupt. Brain always takes some time to understand.
And he gave strong arguments against the prejudice, analog photography meant no image manipulation. In contrary, every image processing has always been manipulation.
This day ended up with 100 GB of RAW image data. Work for a year to process them. With some winds below Bridal Veil Fall there was a movement of the camera that can be seen.
So often I had good photo opportunities at Valley View. So it was today. A golden light from the setting sun shone for us, lit some bushes and warmed up the rocks.
The rise of a full moon took place at sunset. Only with a 9 EV HDR the light could be captured. It was a wonderful evening. Only hunger could us make driving back to our lodge.
Exceptional light conditions characterize Yosemite Valley. The unspoiled nature is over. There isn’t a square inch of floor that isn’t full of footprints, mine included.
The large rock faces reflect the light into the valley before the sun has risen, the wide trees and the meandering Merced river do their part. In broad daylight, it makes little sense to trace or search for nuances of light. Nevertheless it is beautiful, wonderfully bright, pleasently warm. As soon as the sun stops sending its warm rays, it becomes unpleasantly cool.
As attendees of the conference Out of Yosemite we gather on the different Meadows of the valley or banks of the Merced river, which can also be called beach. This morning we’ve been to Tahiti Beach.
The afternoon session was with Harold at Cathedral Beach. Some ice on Merced river, few warm reflections of El Capitan. Some inspirations of Charlotte Gibb in mind I took some shots there. The cotton trees were my favorites.
Like in a forest of a fairy tale you might stumble over monsters: