The next day was a fun day of walking around the HooDoo's in Goblin Valley. I was more than a bit sore from the adventures of the day before and begged off a couple of the more sketchy scrambles. When carrying expensive camera gear and not feeling in top shape it is (IMHO) smart to not get too crazy.
As always click on a photo for a larger view.
This shot uploaded in the wrong order, it was actually one of the last shots I took, or bunch of shots as it were. This is a 15 shot panorama covering nearly 180 degres. The sad thing is: it still doesn't really capture the size, immensity or grandeur of the place. I will probably be going back to this area for the rest of my life, and hopefully, one day, I will nail it.
At first light, my hopes of getting good light were dim, it was cloudy and you could not tell where the sun was at all. After a little more time lounging in my nice warm sleeping bag and comfy air mattress it was time to get up and see what the day offered.
After attaching my quick release plate (Hate having that on when I am not going to be using my tripod) and putting on my DA 55-300 I scrambled onto some small hills across from the camground. I have had many pretty views of the east face of "the Reef" which is what they call the east/southeastern escarpment of the San Rafael Swell. But never really at this time of day. Taking this shot makes me want to try to find a spot where I am less obstructed and can get this kind of light on a large swath of it.
This next series of shots are all of the same thing just treated differently, I like all three for different reasons. The first is a single shot, underexposed 2 EV stops from what the camera metered so as to not blow out the light coming through the clouds. I intentionally left the foreground dark and mysterious, to evoke more of a sense of "Light in the Darkness" or "Glory in the Gloom"
This is a combination of three shots, -2,0,+2 EV merged in Photomatix using the Exposure Fusion setting, this is much closer to the reality of what I saw.
The last one (above) is a bit more overcooked but quite a bit more dramatic. Not reality by any stretch of the imagniation. But as Ansel Adams said "You don't take photographs, you make photographs." In a weird way I like it the best.
The desert is not really greening up yet, but a few things were blooming, this purple flower bush was in a LOT of locations. Better light would have helped but it was still gorgeous!
Here are my companions, for the Goblin Valley part of the festivities, we were hoping for a fair number of young men and older guys from church, but our leader cancelled it, even though George and I were already there and the weather was not wet. In his defense it was pouring rain and slush the entire weekend in Salt Lake City. Aaron is pointing the way to a cave they discovered the previous night.
Looking out across the valley, it is a freakish yet wonderful place. The best part is the absolute silence. You can stand still and hear..... absolutely.... nothing.
This was a tricky shot, I had left my tripod in the truck, so I had to brace the camera on a rock shelf and hope for the best. Not super sharp but I like it. Definitely a possibility for another trip.
The group got a little rambunctious and went up some stuff I was not really willing to try and risk not making it up, so I wandered around and met them on the other side and on the way back to our vehicles. Despite the soreness I was deeply grateful to have been there and at peace in my heart. It does my soul wonders to be in the desert. The quiet stillness and beauty soothe my soul.