Escaping La Niña

DAY 2. BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK.

Fullscreen image gallery here

We took the incredible drive from Zion National Park through the canyons and long tunnel out towards Bryce Canyon for some time at another incredible collection of stunning ancient natural geological formations.

The afternoon was sunny but still cool with a breeze around the canyon rim as we explored the various viewpoints. I’m glad we did the drive out to Pariah Point, as though it was only small, the pinnacle that towered from the valley floor was very impressive. It’s grandeur is not told in a photograph unfortunately.

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One of our first views of the magnificent canyon
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Pariah Point – the magnificence is not captured in this image.
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Soaking it all up

I had never seen light work the way it did as we wandered down into the canyon for a small hike through the Queens Garden and Navajo loop trails. The amazing glow when we were down underneath the hoodoos we had just been admiring from above, the light bounced and warmed the shadows, allowing for incredible photographs.

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Tara looking up in astonishment and the massive spires
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A convenient keyhole view along the trail
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The Queens Garden

Even when shooting back into the sun across the canyon, some of the light and colour that could be captured was almost unbelievable with the sun still so high in the sky. This was a very special place for appreciating the power of nature, it’s forces, and how beautiful it can be when they combine.

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Looking back across the canyon, straight into the sun
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Snow still occupied the shadowed areas of the canyon in some places

Sunset was golden and brought interest contrast and shadows to the vast fields of pinnacles and spires. Shooting into the shadows brought rewards of more rich colours and textures in the soil that were absolutely sublime to both stop and admire, as well as capture for memories.

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Deeping shadows turning the chasms into a creepy maze
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The colours came oozing out as the sun lowered
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I’m a sucker for natural patterns and textures
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This one area really jumped out. The Velvia profile on my X-T1 really made the image here. Metallic print might work really well for this photograph.
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Three phases in one frame. I was floating. The F-bomb came out repeatedly, out of pure delight!

This was also the perfect evening where the moon would rise as the sun was setting, allowing for single frame imaging of the moon and the landscape without requiring major contrast balancing. We pulled over on the side of a road and watch the moon slide up as the sun cast its last rays on the hills surrounding us.

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Another beautiful scene. I tried to put the camera down, but I just couldn’t!
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Moonrise at sunset was a special few minutes.

It was a early and chilly start for sunrise in the morning. With some forecasted cloud cover, I was praying for the right mix, as there were few days in the trip with any clouds forecast at all. If there was going to be a colourful sunrise, this could have been the day. We were not disappointed. Even before the sun had risen, again the colour in the shadows was just surreal. As the clouds took on colour in the moments before the actual rise of the sun, the canyon began to light up, simultaneously soaking up and reflecting the hues of colour from the sky.

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The moment a thousand shutters fired. It was very busy, and a huge bus-load of tourist arrived hurriedly and loudly just prior, much to the annoyance of those of us who were enjoying the moment peacefully up until that point.
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After the sun came up there was some nice light but it lacked the pow-factor of the late day sun from yesterday.
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Brief breaks in the cloud produced momentary colour bursts from below our vantage point.
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Put down the camera mate!! I liked the two sentinels on the mid right spires that had somehow survived much longer than their brethren.
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A quick shot of us enjoying our chosen favourite view

We finished exploring and looking for colours but the cloud cover continued to build and then everything became quite muted. We said our goodbyes to another remarkable stop on our journey and returned to our hotel for breakfast and the long drive across Utah towards our next stop; Canyonlands National Park.

If these weren’t enough, there are even more images that can be found in a gallery and viewed full screen here

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