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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for suggestions about especially scenic areas in the above locales. I have an old college roommate, also an enthusiastic amateur photographer, coming up from Dana Point soon. We will embark on a multi-day tour of southern Utah, and I thought it appropriate to spend quality time in the NMs now that the protections for them has been restored.

In other news, there's a nice op ed in today's Trib in support of the monuments by the mayors of Bluff, Moab and one of the Grand County commissioners.

Also, for any interested fellow photographers, there will be a "Touch and Try" event for Nikon's new flagship full frame mirrorless camera, the Z9, tomorrow evening at Pictureline. Looks like the cream of the crop. I have no relationship with Nikon or Pictureline.
 

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Don't pass up Bryce and Kodachrome - a pit stop at Willis Creek and Bull Valley Gorge are worth the side trip. The area between Escalante and Boulder is especially beautiful. Calf Creek, and the lower falls should be considered for anyone visiting the area that has never been there. Then, head across the Burr Trail, around the Henries and back towards Hite -- or, continue from Boulder over the mountain (plenty of scenic views there!) and down through Capitol Reef (more photo opportunities), towards Hite, Natural Bridges (more photos), and eventually BE.

You can also head out the Hole In the Rock road, if you really want to -- and there are certainly fantastic areas to explore out there -- but if you are just trying to see some photogenic areas of both NM's, then I'd just stick to the oil...

This could be an amature photogs dream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, we got back Saturday. Nice trip, though not nearly long enough. When I said we were "old" college roommates, I meant it. We rented a house on Balboa Island while studying at UC Irvine in 1971, so 50 years ago. Our third roommate has since passed away. This is going to be long, so you might want to settle in.

We left Salt Lake last Monday and meandered down to Panguitch on 89. It was dark by the time we were approaching town, when all of a sudden we saw hazard lights flashing ahead. A family from Colorado in an older Honda CRV had hit a horse right in the road, we were the first on scene. The horse's head hit the passenger side windshield, which was curled back into the cabin. The A pillar was damaged, the adjacent roof peeled back, the right fender damaged, the car not driveable and a total loss. The wife was still sitting in her seat, looking dazed and with some minor facial trauma, her right eye closed. I separated her eyelids, she didn't seem to have a serious eye injury. The husband was outside the car, unhurt, the preteen girl still in the back seat, likewise unhurt. No airbag deployment, but the most remarkable thing was all the horse brain tissue and blood everywhere, all over the inside of the car, all over the wife, etc. Very gruesome. The dead horse was lying in right lane, still bleeding.

There were two horses, the second was still standing in the road when we drove up. While I was attending to the woman, a local in an old, small pickup came up from the south at a rapid pace despite all the flashing lights and hit the second horse! His front bumper landed on his hood and he was leaking coolant. Looked to me like he needed a tow, but he said he lived a mile up the road and was going to try to make it, so drove off. We drove beyond the scene a bit to the south, pulled off the road and turned on our flashers to warn oncoming traffic. We stayed until emergency vehicles arrived, then continued on to town. I won't soon forget the horse brains and blood splattered all over. I called the hospital the next morning, sounded like nobody was seriously injured, so that's good.

Bryce is mostly a morning photography opportunity, so we got up early enough to be there before sunrise. But, the cloud cover prevented the early morning sunlight that lights up the fins and spires. We got nothing. So, we decided to go down to the North Rim, but arrived too late to get much light. While ascending the Kaibab Plateau there's a nice turnout, the Lefever Overlook. Excellent views of the staircase, highly recommended as one can see forever. I've found the North Rim difficult to photograph on previous trips as you're looking into the sun. Note the fires both looking north from the overlook and on the South Rim. As was true for the entire trip, Mark had never seen any of these places, so he was very impressed by the grandeur.

Here are a few photos from the first few days, none of the dead horse. Just a note about technique. These were shot with a Nikon D850 using various lenses; Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8FL. Post processing was limited to adjusting exposure, correcting white balance and sharpening only. Saturation was not increased, no other manipulations were performed. All are uncropped, the posted files are small, less than 0.6MB. The original JPEGs are ~30-60MB.
Cloud Sky Plant Plant community Natural landscape

Nature Plant Bedrock Natural landscape Mountain
Sky Plant community Plant Natural landscape Tree
Mountain Plant Cloud Sky Natural landscape
Plant Mountain Plant community Sky Ecoregion
Sky Cloud Ecoregion Nature Natural landscape
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So, here are some more photos of the GS and BE areas. After post processing a couple in B&W, I was inspired to take down an old book from the bookshelf for another look after many years. It's called "The Mural Project", commissioned by the then Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph our national parks, etc, for murals in the Washington, DC Interior headquarters in 1941. For those not familiar with Ansel Adams, he is undoubtedly the most famous landscape photographer of all time. His work on the murals was interrupted by WW II, the project forgotten and never completed. By the time it was interrupted, Adams had sent 255 signed prints to the department. The book was published in 1988, after Adam's work was rediscovered in storage in the National Archives. The photographs are accompanied by select quotes by Theodore Roosevelt. One of them seems fitting, given the recent restoration of our monuments:

"Every... lover of nature, every man who appreciates the majesty and beauty of the wilderness and of wild life, should strike hands with the far-sighted men who wish to preserve our material resources, in the effort to keep our forests and our game beasts, game-birds, and game fish--indeed, all living creatures of prairie and woodland and seashore-- from wanton destruction.

It is entirely in our power as a nation to preserve large tracts of wilderness... as playgrounds for the rich and poor alike, and to preserve the game so it shall continue to exist for the benefit of all lovers of nature.... But this end can only be achieved by wise laws and by a resolute enforcement of those laws. Lack of such legislation and enforcement to all of us, but the most harm to the nature lover who does not possess vast wealth."


The last image is the Bears Ears, of course, but the one just before shows the boat ramp at Hite. Not good.
Sky Mountain Plant community Ecoregion Plant
Sky Plant Natural landscape Branch Trunk
Vertebrate Deer Mammal Horn Fawn
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Cloud Plant Sky Atmosphere Natural landscape
Cloud Sky Mountain Ecoregion Natural landscape
Cloud Sky Natural landscape Mountain Bedrock
Cloud Sky Mountain Natural landscape Plant
Brown Cloud Sky Bedrock Natural landscape
Cloud Sky Plant Natural landscape Mountain
 
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but the most remarkable thing was all the horse brain tissue and blood everywhere, all over the inside of the car, all over the wife, etc. Very gruesome. The dead horse was lying in right lane, still bleeding.

Reads like a Stephen King novel ;)
 
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