I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finally some blossoms!

Boing! Boing! Boing! Spring is finally starting to rear its beautiful head! About time too. Here are a couple of quick shots just for fun. I am liking my M-50mm f4 macro, just need to use it more!

Rural Junk

I had the opportunity to take a few things to my Aunt's house last week. She wasn't there when we got there so I took the opportunity to poke around. Of course I had my camera in hand and took a few shots. I only had my 55-300 with me, was expecting Big Horn Sheep or Deer by the side of the road. What I get for thinking I guess.

Anyway, I was fascinated by the patina of rust and ageing on an old metal cabinet in the back yard. So I spent a few minutes working it. I got two compositions I liked enough to take a shot.

Something about the color and hue just does something for me.

Something about the dual nature of the two handles speaks to me, perhaps it is the ability of some to withstand corrosive environments, while others succumb. Or just being the last man standing.

Again I see a losing battle with the elements, with a few last spots going screaming and kicking into the abyss. What is the value of fighting even when there is no hope?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 1: An Afternoon of Slot Canyons and Hiking Behind the Reef.

April 8, departed Salt Lake City in a rain/snow mix hoping for better weather, as I was part of a planned expedition of adults and youth from our church to Goblin Valley State Park. We were worried about the weather, but to our great relief the weather got better as we went East towards Price. In fact once we got there we had essentially no rain whatsoever the entire trip until we returned to home.

If you want to skip reading this and go straight to the photos click here.

Upon reaching the turnoff from UT-24 we left contact with civilization and headed Northwest toward the San Rafael Swell. In my several visits here I do not remember any Antelope, however we found a group of them by the side of the road grazing. This was the best shot of the lot.

After setting up camp, George and I quickly headed out from the State Park and to the Little Wild Horse Trailhead. This is one of my favorite places to hike in the area, and truly a spectacular slot canyon that is really quite accessible, though it is getting a few more large rocks washed in each year. It has changed quite a bit since my first hike in it in 2009. This tree amazes me, It has to get washed against on a regular basis by a copious amount of water, yet it stands firm.

This is one of the first areas of narrowing, it gets progressively deeper and rougher as you go. The sensuous curves of the sandstone, and the delicate layering of eons old sediment is fascinating.

This part leans a bit, and I find it quite awkward, it is truly amazing to me how the path of least resistance sometimes leads to beauty, and sometimes elsewhere.

Here is smiling George, enjoying the day! Sad to say it was kinda fun to be there without the youth, it is very easy to enjoy yourself when you are not herding 14-16 year olds who think they are invincible and bulletproof.

Typical of the lower canyon, wider areas immediately downstream from a narrow section, it fascinates me how the water and wind can carve the stone into fantastical shapes and textures.

This is a large and new boulder that has been washed in. It is 4-5ft tall and probably weighs over 1,000 pounds, glad I wasn't there when it was being washed in. This was taken with my Fisheye lens, so you can understand the field of view, from corner to diagonal corner is 180 degrees, so from my foot to the sky goes from straight down to straight up. It is narrower than it appears.

I have seen the gap under this rock go from just a couple of feet 2 years ago too...

Nearly 6 feet. Amazing how the canyon changes.

Don't remember this rock pile either.

Twisty doesn't even begin to describe what this place is.

Boo! Yeah people put the rocks there, I put one, the other was already there.

Easy parts, but still beautiful.

The upper canyon just begs to be photographed.

The old Juniper and Cedar trees last a long time after they die, the strange patterns of the wood fascinate me.

I reworked this several times. I think I finally got it right... maybe....

I liked how this head looked kind of like a skull of some dinosaur, the contrast with the other rock also strikes me as well. There is more than one tone of rock there, and the differences are often spectacular.

This face is a little more happy, don't know why I never noticed before that there were a lot of these around.

Spotting this around several turns as we were descending Bells Canyon provided much needed anticipation of blue sky. We truly enjoyed our glimpses of the sun and sky.

Another of our friendly cottonwood trees in the river bottom, how it has survived this long I don't know. You would think that flash floods would have taken it out long ago.

George and I went down the road to Ding Canyon, a smaller spot that I have wanted to see since I did part of it a few years ago. What a blast! It is more straight forward and less twisty, but like a slap in the face on a cold morning, just a bit refreshing.

This is what is called a "Keeper Pothole" If you get in you don't get out, thus you are kept. Doubt I would drink the water unless I had to but it is good to know it is there in a moment of desperation.

In Upper Dang Canyon, there were some unbelievably large rocks just hanging out... literally.

We had a great time, but got really sore, we hiked for almost 8 hours straight. I walked like an old man honestly.... guess it is about time I started acting my age.

Day 2: Early Morning and Hobnobbing With the Goblins

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.

Thanks for looking at what amounts to a vacation slide show..... ;-)