Trip in Pictures: Highlights Of My Driving Travel Photography Trip to Southwest of US

This is updated post with the highlights of my driving travel photography trip to Southwest of US. At this point I processed most of the photos and I can properly illustrate the key moments of the trip.

I started the adventure in Phoenix and drove through Sedona to Grand Canyon. My next stop was in Kanab, from where It was easy to reach to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. From Kanab I drove through the desert to Las Vegas and my final destination was Los Angeles.

  • Number of days: 7
  • Total distance: 2953 km (1835 miles)
  • Number of states visited: 4 (Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California)
  • Number of national parks visited: 5
  • Number of state parks visited: 12
  • Number of photos taken: 4281 (most of them are bracketed shots for HDR photography)
  • Number of heat waves: 2
  • Number of snowstorms: 1
  • Excitement level: extreme

You can also check Photo Location Guide Map where you can see all locations I visited.

Travel Photography Blog: Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park
Loc: 36.061637, -112.108524

Travel Photography Blog: Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah. Bryce Canyon
Loc: 37.4751, -112.2405

Travel Photography Blog - Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim

Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim
Loc: 36°3’42″ N 112°6’29″ W

Travel Photography Blog - Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park
Loc: 37.531878, -112.260233

Travel Photography Blog - USA. Utah. Zion National Park

USA. Utah. Zion National Park.
Loc: 37.23836, -112.8379

Travel Photography Blog - USA. Utah. Zion National Park

USA. Utah. Zion National Park. Canyon Overlook Trail
Loc: 37.21335, -112.94575

Travel Photography Blog - Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park
Loc: 37.74035, -112.29691

Travel Photography Blog - Arizona

Arizona
Loc: 36.8321, -112.2556

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Arizona. Colorado River and Marble Canyon
Loc: 36.8175, -111.6328

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Arizona. Echo Cliffs
Loc: 36.7173, -111.6501

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park. Desert View
Loc: 36.043333, -111.826389

Travel Photography Blog - Nevada. Valley of Fire

Nevada. Valley of Fire
Loc: 36.4297, -114.5154

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Utah. Zion National Park
Loc: 37°15’40″ N 112°46’13″ W

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Utah. Bryce Canyon
Loc: 37°34’41″ N 112°13’40″ W

HDR Photography - Processed in Photomatix

Arizona. Grand Canyon. Mather Point
Loc: 36°3’42″ N 112°6’29″ W

 

Percé Rock Flowers (Quebec)

I love the view of Percé Pock. This massive limestone cliff  is so unique and distinctive but sometimes looks completely out of place in its surroundings. It reminds me the huge battleship from beginning of 20th century.

Last time I visited town of Percé as a part of my driving trip to Atlantic coast of Quebec. After spending 3 days in the wilderness of Forillon National Park it was very different experience to be in Perce which is busy tourist attraction with thousands of people staying in this tiny place. It felt very crowded.

After visiting Perce on multiple occasions I had plenty of photos of the Rock. This time my goal was to find different and more interesting perspective of the rock. I noticed yellow flowers with the fence at the top of the cliff facing Perce Rock and I thought they would be great foreground elements of the composition.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Percé

Canada. Quebec. Percé
Loc: 48.524831, -64.205957

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots (-2; -1;  0; +1, +3 ) [Read more...]

Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills

Travel Photography Blog - Photo Extract WeeklyThis is my weekly post; collection of the best photo related resources I came across in the last 7 days. I hope you can find something useful and interesting in the different fields of photography.

I included resources relates to: travel photography, landscape photography, HDR photography, history of photography, inspirational resources, humour and photo equipment. Please let me know if find my collection useful.

My Favorite Resources of the Week

[Read more...]

Blue Hour at Niagara Falls (Canada)

Niagara Falls consist of 3 separate waterfalls. The biggest and most impressive one is Horseshoe Falls which lie mostly on the canadian side of Niagara River. Two other ones are  American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls which are located on US side. When you walk along Niagara River you have magnificent view of each falls but due to narrowness on the river it is not easy get all 3 of them into one composition.

Featured photo is my attempt to get entire Niagara Falls area with all three falls into single frame. I shot it from Rainbow Bridge which connects US and Canada. In order to get to the bridge you have to cross Canadian border and bridge itself is actually neutral territory.

When processing this photo I was experimenting with tone mapping of long exposure shots for HDR. I knew I could achieve similar effect by using image blending in Photoshop but I was curious to see it as HDR. As you can see it is totally possible to combine long exposure photography and HDR processing.

Travel Photography Blog - Ontario. Niagara Falls

Canada. Ontario. Niagara Falls. View from Rainbow Bridge
Loc: 43.09094, -79.06899

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots ( -1;  0; +1 ) [Read more...]

Cape Gaspe at Sunrise in Forillon National Park (Quebec)

Another photo from my latest trip to Atlantic coast of Canada. That day my plan was to climb Mont Saint-Alban and take few aerial shots of Forillon National Park and Gaspe Bay at sunrise.  The trail to the top of the mountain starts at Cap-Bon-Ami in northern section of the park only few steps from beautiful beach.

I arrived at the beach around 4am and initially I was not planning to unpack my gear before start climbing but when I saw little clouds over cliffs of Cape Gaspe I could not resist. The light was not too dynamic and it was enough to take only 3 bracketed shots in order to process them for HDR later.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park

Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park. Cap-Bon-Ami
Loc: 48.81119, -64.22419

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots ( -1;  0; +1 ) [Read more...]

Four Elements Column at Sunset (Montreal)

“Patterns and Symbols” was the theme of 500px Global Photo Walk, the one I was helping to organize in Montreal. First I was a bit sceptical about having theme for such a social event as PhotoWalk. I thought it would be too restrictive for bunch of photographers having fun. But I am ready to admit that I was wrong. I failed to realized that it is often a struggle for beginners to come up with the subject or direction for everyday photography. “Patterns and Symbols” is very abstract theme but it was just enough to fuel creative juices. Photo Walk became a “treasure hunt” .

Featured photo is my contribution to photo walk’s ”Patterns and Symbols” theme. This is the sculpture called  “Four Elements Column” which is part of open air exhibition of Musée de Lachine (Lachine Museum), with 22 huge sculptures permanently featured in Parc René-Lévesque park.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Canada. Montreal. René-Lévesque Park
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 4 Bracketed Shots (-2: -1;  0; +1, +2) [Read more...]

07. Before & After: HDR Photography with Point and Shoot Camera

If you follow my blog you probably saw my tutorials dedicated to HDR photography. Ideally, when shooting for HDR, I use my DSLR  with full size steady tripod and depending on lighting conditions I shoot 5 or 7 bracketed exposures and later merge them in various HDR software (Photoshop HDR Pro, Photomatix or HDR Expose 3).

Few of my readers pointed out to me that shooting for HDR requires equipment which is too expensive and as result it becomes prohibitive for many photo enthusiasts.

Today I am going to demonstrate how I shoot for HDR using my $299.00 point and shoot camera, without tripod (hand held) and how I process images for HDR.

Below, you can find my Before&After Widget, which illustrates 8 editing steps of my workflow. By clicking through the numbers, (orange squares) you can see how each image transforms from step 1 (original raw image) to step 8 (final published photo).

Before & After Widget

If you’d like to follow along, I’ve included my source files with this post (original RAW files and layered Photoshop file (PSD). You can download all files at the end of the post.

For this tutorial I used Panasonic Lumix LX-7 point and shoot camera.

Lumix LX-7 is my favorite point and shoot camera. It has all manual controls of any DSLR camera, it is small and has wide (24mm equivalent) and incredible fast (F1.4) Leica lense. Plus it allows me to shoot up to 3 bracketed shots. It cost around $300.  

I find myself very often leaving all my fancy photo gear at home and go for photo hunting having only LX-7 in my pocket. I call it freedom.

I owned previous model (LX-5) and I was waiting for new LX-8 expecting further improvements in image quality and functionality. Instead Panasonic announced LX100 as successor of LX-7.  New camera is bigger, heavier with slower lens, shorter focal reach and it is three times more expensive than LX-7. You still can buy LX-7 but you have to hurry it won’t last for long.

In case of featured photo I went for evening run to the local park and anticipating good sunset colors I brought LX-7 with me.

I shot bracketed photo sequence of 3 frames with exposure ranging from -2 to +2 (-2, 0, +2). Ideally, I prefer to shoot 5 brackets covering the same range (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) but since my LX-7 has 3 brackets limit I had no choice.

 

[Read more...]

Inspirations: CHICAGO – 30 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is CHICAGO.  I consider Chicago one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I remember my first visit to Chicago years back. It was short business trip and I did not know much about the city and I didn’t expect much. Later I realized that the only city I could compare it was New York. It is as beautiful as New York with similar mix of history and modern architecture.

[Read more...]

Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills

Travel Photography Blog - Photo Extract WeeklyThis is my weekly post; collection of the best photo related resources I came across in the last 7 days. I hope you can find something useful and interesting in the different fields of photography.

I included resources relates to: travel photography, landscape photography, HDR photography, history of photography, inspirational resources, humour and photo equipment. Please let me know if find my collection useful.

My Favorite Resources of the Week

[Read more...]