I love a good trip to the desert, especially when someone else is driving, and paying the gas (The Scout Troop in this instance) and the guy driving is a photographer who is more than willing to sit and take photos in no particular rush.
I was asked to be the guide for our scout troop, for some camping and hiking during their spring break. Seeing as I have been down to the Goblin Valley area a lot and I tend to try to instigate trips there whenever I can I guess it was only natural that I lead when nobody else associated with the troop has been there in years... or ever!
I am simply going to throw the photos out here in roughly chronological order, with a few comments, mainly because I like them too much to cull them, and... well... I'm lazy!
After going down early to establish a campsite, my buddy and I headed over to Dang Canyon to check-out the feasibility of reversing the usual loop. I was unable to get all the way up to the scrambly bits by myself, and I had already gone farther than he had. Just a little bummed, we started to head back down the canyon focusing more on photography than getting anywhere in a hurry.
In these first few shots, it was a little more overcast. The texture of this tree branch benefited from that, I think it would have washed out in direct sunlight. AS you will be able to see by the titles, I was seeing textures everywhere!
This was a minor obstacle compared with other visits where there was several feet of water to contend with that extended 40 feet down canyon from the rock, necessitating a certain amount of athleticism to not get wet. The roughness of the rock and the patterns (may I say, texture?) always fascinate me.
I loved the sky, but the blue was kinda funky, I was thinking B&W when I shot these, so that is what I converted it to, and I liked it!
I really struggled to find a composition that I liked, despite the fact I LOVED this little channel carved into the rock, my traveling buddy spotted it and I loved that he spotted it!
This is/was a very complicated composition, I kind of think I failed to really capture the essence of the scene, but I got what interested me, which was the shadows on the rock in the foreground. I again converted to B&W because I was looking at textures and I see textures in B&W.
Really wanted this one to look good in B&W but it just didn't have the contrast in the right places. Liked the green of the newly leafed Cottonwood Trees, and the star effect of the aperture too.
Sigh, dead skeletal trees, they just make my heart go pitter pat. The clouds mimicking the tree makes the shot, but those twisted gnarled trees just make me happy in a visual feast kind of way.
On the exit route back to the trailhead I saw this nice view of the entry to Ding Canyon, it looks benign enough but hides a truly fun and athletic jaunt through the heart of the sandstone.
The conversion of the sky from solid overcast to partly cloudy made me happy, very, very, happy. I have never had this light with clouds from this vantage point before. David Muench I'm not, but I like it.
The evening light made me happy to be driving behind the reef, I haven't been down that road in a long time, and the view of Temple Mountain is rather nice.
I had to lift the shadow in the foreground quite a bit, but I think I kept it from being too gaudy.
The scouts arrived after dark and were greeted by this sunrise the next morning. It was a blast to see the boys faces as they saw where they were camped.
The foreground rock was a favorite of mine to stand on and survey the sunrise and set light.
Having visited Little Wild Horse and Bells Canyon multiple times I took a few snaps of the boys and some video and called it good. I did take this shot I liked in Bells Canyon. I learned something on this trip about why there are so many dang jets flying overhead. There is a navigational landmark nearby that helps the jets steer, so that is why I seem to always have contrails in my photos there.
Nice clouds but nothing super special in Goblin Valley photographically, but it was a blast for the boys!
Sunset light on Wild Horse Mesa from our campsite, it was a really really nice one that we likely will use again.
I have been dying to try some astrophotography for awhile. Finally a clear enough night to give it a shot. Tripod, pumped up ISO, 30 Sec exposures. Fisheye lens, lots of fun!
I think I like this one the best, the airplane trails are cool, not so fond of the flare from my headlamp on the bottom left....
Playing with Lasers can be a heckuva good time. Wrote a message to my wife!
My more usual long exposure star trail, moon was rising so it wasn't as dark as I like. Still liked the shot though.
I took this while still in my sleeping bag, just used the tripod I left up from the star trail right outside. That is living I tell ya!
Handheld pictures of the fire, .3 seconds seemed to work about right.
My new most favorite place Wildhorse Window, a.k.a. The Eye of Sinbad, which I like more, sounds cooler!!!! Getting the sky and the inside of the cave is really hard, fortunately I am marginally skilled with HDR and bracketing saved the day. I just love the texture of the inside of this thing. Would really like to find a way to get part of the Milky Way across the "Eye" on a dark dark night.
Take two, almost like the color here better than the first one.
I so totally WANT to rappel from the top of this thing. Just need to get a couple LONG ropes and loop it over the top. Need to find a friend with ropes......
Thanks for sticking along till the end!