Posted by dustin gent | File under : , , ,
About a month ago, a buddy and I took a quick 2700 mile trip to Utah. We left on a Monday and came back early Saturday morning. It was a fun trip, and some really special about the Southwest.

The irony is that I spent many summers (ok, like 3 or 4 - but that is a lot when you are a kid lol) in Arizona - mostly in Flagstaff. Flag is about 2 1/2 hours from the slot canyons (Antelope, Canyon X, etc), 2 hours from the Grand Canyon, and 4 1/2 hours from Zion, and so on and so forth. The deal was that I wasn't really into photography back then. Might be due to me being 14, also being due to there was no such thing as a DSLR - or even blogs for that matter. It was also more expensive to click the shutter. How I wish I could go back in time.

There would be no waiting in line to shoot much of anything! Antelope Canyon wasn't as well known, and you didn't need a guide to access it. Same goes for many places - except "The Wave" recently had the permit system implemented. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which by the way should be a National Park for sure; was not as visited as it is now.

The reason why I bring that up is that I HATE shooting in traffic. What I mean by that is I am not used to shooting locations that have 100s of people. That brings us to our first morning in the SW. We decided to hit up Arches National Park. It was easy and quick, which was very welcome after our 1000 mile drive. We rolled in at 2am and slept for a few hours in the car. Then awoke to jet-boil water for our coffee, and to my amazement, 10 cars or so roll into the parking lot.

We walked up to Turret Arch, and were yelled at by an instructor for a Hasselblad workshop. He was very rude to myself and to tourists. He acted like we were on private land. The bottom line was everyone paid the same to get into the NATIONAL PARK, and traveled to get there. Incidentally, I looked at the back of my Outdoor Photographer magazine just as we left to see if any tours/workshops were going to be happening while we were there. So I knew we may run into them. The instructors' name is Peter Lorber. He is a talented photographer, but has not much tact.

So after shooting Arches, we decided to hit up Canyonlands. We decided to shoot the False Kiva for sunset, and Mesa Arch for sunrise. Again, we ran into the Hassy workshop at Mesa. To keep a long story short, I kinda was forced from my spot, and found a way more wicked spot for a composition that I bogarted the entire sunrise. I later found out that the workshop was here 2 days earlier for sunrise - so I didn't feel as bad, lol.

To sum it up, we went to every National Park in Utah, except for The Great Basin National Park and Zion. We were in Bryce long enough to say we were in Bryce Canyon.

Here is a shot of the False Kiva. This brings me full circle to my first few paragraphs of this entry. Without the internet, I would have NOT found this site. It is not hard to get to, but without spending months here to explore the wonderland that is Canyonlands, not many people would have their shot at this incredible vista...


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