This is a series of blog posts where I recap my latest photography trip to American Southwest.
- Intro - American Southwest Photography Trip Recap
- Day 1 - Packing Fast and Light (Look inside of my camera bag)
- Day 2 - Conquering Angels Landing in Zion National Park
- Day 3 - Extreme Weather in Bryce Canyon
- Day 4 - U.S. Route 89 Loop
From Kanab to Bryce
The city of Kanab is a very important place when you visit Utah and Arizona. It is strategically located in the “Grand Circle” area within driving reach to iconic destinations such as Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
After a successful day two of my trip spending the entire day in Zion, I was ready to tackle the Bryce Canyon National Park, which was located 100 km from my hotel in Kanab.
During my trip, I met many photographers from different parts of the world and, every time after a short talk about photo equipment and weather, we would always end up discussing the best location, from a photography standpoint, in South Utah and North Arizona.
Some photographers prefer Zion and some prefer the Grand Canyon but, for me, I always prefer Bryce Canyon. It is such an easy choice because of its distinctive and sometimes even surreal colors and shapes. The extraterrestrial looking landscapes of Bryce Canyon always fascinates me.
That day, my only concern was the weather. The year before I had to cut my visit to Bryce short in the middle of the day due to a major snowstorm when the temperature plummeted from 20°C to -2°C (68°F to 28°F) in a matter of hours
This year, however, I was lucky. Even though the temperature fluctuations were extreme (from 25°C/77F° to 5°C/41F°), it never dropped below freezing. The rain started at least five different times, but I never complained because the extreme weather changes resulted in a beautiful sky with stunning cloud formations.
Another highlight of my visit to Bryce was the hike to the bottom of the canyon. The view from the bottom gives you a completely different perspective on Bryce where, instead of shooting wide open landscapes, you shoot up converging orange rocks.
Also, when you reach the bottom of the canyon, it feels as if you are in an entirely different climate zone as it is much warmer down there with absolutely no wind. It looked very comical when I was climbing up, sweat pouring through my t-shirt, as all of the hikers climbing down were dressed for winter.
Shooting & Processing
There were not too many challenges with shooting and processing. I took 3 bracketed shots (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod but when I started editing them in Lightroom I realized that I did not need to use HDR processing, single RAW was enough.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Processing: Lightroom HDR Preset Based Workflow
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (rocks mostly).