Getting up in the morning is always hard for me after a long busy active day, but not when a sunrise is in the offing. This is our camp from the south side, which appears out of sequence, this photo was taken after the sunrise photos you will see further on.
This is one of those HDR shots you hear about, it is not my typical way of processing this type of shot, but I felt I wanted to show something closer to what I was seeing, rather than as the camera sees it with just one shot.
Later in the morning after one of Phils Phantastic breakfasts (Nobody EVER starves when they camp with my brother!) we headed out to the Upper and Lower Cathedral Valleys. Upper Cathedral Valley is the valley pictured in the sunset shots of the evening of Day 1. These formations are just out of the frame to the left in the sunset pictures you saw. Here is another view of them from the year before.
Once again the skies were not my favorite but you shoot with what you got and make the best of it. I may not be able to use this to launch a career with National Geographic, but they have a certain drama.
After leaving the Upper Valley, we drove down to the Lower Cathedral Valley, where the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon are located. In that short 15-20 minute span we got sun and puffy clouds... Nature really is a mother sometimes.....
I love the dirt roads and textures of the landscape. I often wonder if God didn't create this area just for pleasure.
I love the omnipresent volcanic boulders that are scattered all over the area, it makes a sort of whimsical sense to have these petrified sand dunes and sea bottoms get bombarded occasionally in the distant past with volcanic debris. Sorta like putting a ducks bill on a web footed mammal that lays eggs. Proof that God has a sense of humour I suppose.
I tried this in a B&W but still haven't quite gotten it right, though I am not sure it even works better in monochrome. But I suppose that if it was ok for Ansel Adams to shoot all B&W, I ought to be able to do it occasionally... right?
The road leading from the area is called the "Caineville Wash Road" It also provides magnificent vistas. The clear air, blue skies and puffy clouds did help though.