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Utah Vacation 17

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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Utah Vacation 17
    Posted: 13 May 2019 at 12:21
Page was our last main staging post for the vacation other than the departure from Las Vegas. There are a number of 'highlights' that are not to be missed from here (and, I've subsequently found, quite a few more which might mean persuading Mrs Owen back there again at some point).

The main one, I'm sure people will know, is Antelope Canyon. It is iconic. It is, given the images we've seen, very striking and beautiful and full of colour. it is also, I'm afraid to say, absolutely packed with people, almost impossible to take one's time in; one is shepherded round in competition with other groups, even on the so-called 'photo tours' (we heard one comment that all the photographers were placed in a line - shortest at the front; tallest at the back, and told 'now' to take the image....) and our B&B host also said that fist fights had become a not too unusual occurrence . Also, it is an amazing sight in Page to see the tour buses, packed to the gills with people, off to see Antelope Canyon. The Lower Canyon (previously an alternative) has also since been closed to photographic visitors so that option was also off the list. So, we did our homework beforehand and booked a trip to an alternative location which offered bespoke tours principally to photographers and in small groups, with roughly a 3 hour time slot. Always risky, I know, but this had good reviews and a very positive set of comments.

So, first day in Page and off to Canyon X. We had our own tour guide (Eugene) and the canyon consists of two main slots - North and South Canyon. We were split into two groups of 6 and Eugene cleverly split us into the 'serious' image takers and the slightly less so and this worked brilliantly well. He also suggested walking through the canyon to acclimatise (we would know when we needed to turn round - more of which later) the return back through the canyon and this was great advice as it gave us a chance to spot options and locations first time through. First time through is also dark....

And Canyon X itself? Mystical. Magical. Sublime. I could go on but, perhaps, the best thing to do is walk through South Canyon first. Please join me on a wonderful journey:

1. The Way Down



2. Early Signs



3. Turn Around



4. Where Geology's Meet



5. Outcrop



6. Stone Wave



7. Lodged



8. Light and Shade



9. Sudden Light



10. Cascade



11. Broken Flow



12. The Human Form



13. Last of the Navajo Light



14. Glimpse



15. Solitude



So, that's us pretty much through the South Canyon X; lots of other images to choose from but I hope that gives a small insight into what a glorious place this is to be allowed access to.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you liked these images so far - please comment one way or another as it's all useful feedback (I know which are my 'favourites' - interesting to compare!). North Canyon X to follow!

With best regards, Neil.
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Snegren View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 14:01
You did well to avoid the crowds Neil!

I particularly like 7 and 13, but all are very appealing. On tripod I presume....?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 14:23
Sorry to hear about Upper Antelope (I've never been because even 10 years ago I heard it was crazy) and Lower Antelope (I have been twice and there were very few people, probably because it was basically one person through at a time with a couple of places to pass - not for the claustrophobic and a bit dangerous because of flash flooding, perhaps the reason they closed it). Number 8 reminds me of Lower Antelope Canyon. What I admire in this set is the many close-ups; I didn't take a single one and I regret that having now seen your images. #7 - (Perhaps evidence of flash flooding?) I really like the light, composition and the contrast of the small piece of rough wood with the canyon walls. #13 - My favorite in the set; yes, somewhat the classic looking shot but the light and composition are great and showing the sand base with the hint of footprints gives it some scale. #14 - A wonderful, alternative shot that probably not another soul has taken. #15 - Changed my mind, my favorite in the set for similar reasons to #13. I have vacillated between 13 and 15 and, again, my curmudgeonly ways leads me to #15, it's a horizontal, not seen often in this setting and it's got a bit more interest for my eye to explore than #13. I like how the dominant light on the left goes to the bottom and with just a wisp of light takes me around to the secondary lighted area on the right. Note: This critique surprises me a bit in that it reminds me of someone else who is highly proficient at such detailed analysis.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waleskeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 18:07
My my my! As many times I've been to this area, I always passed on this area due to exactly what you described, the tour buses and content. I've relied on others photos on the various websites. Yours are at the top of the list, especially the closeups which is something many people always miss. I cannot choose a favorite (s) because each demonstrates an equal, individual level of interest for me. Glimpse..... human form...... solitude.....lodged.... I mean how many people get quite this creative? Absolutely my favorite set so far. Am on my 3rd time viewing it so far today. Now this will clearly be added to the bucket list, thank you for sharing it's location.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 18:58
Love #6 but 8 even more. Lovely light .
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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 20:37
Thanks, folks - much appreciated views; and interesting to see how they differ from mine!

I think personal favourites have more to do with the impact of the moment one was there rather than the finished image - and this is definitely no exception. For me, the most memorable image is #13, mainly for the fact that, by then, we were slowly wandering back to the cross over point and I turned the corner and this was in front of me. I've also got selected sections of the upper part of the scene with that wonderful spread of light but the overall look at the moment took more than a few seconds to really sink in and the more 'process' part of my brain to say "well; what are you waiting for - get on with it!"

Paul - that was the point; no crowds here (well, at the moment anyway....). And yes, for a change, definitely on a tripod with a wired release.

Roger - We'll make a critiquer of you yet! Thanks for both the detailed observation but also for recording much of what I feel when looking to select these images (and on the day as well). I suspect there's actually a lot more to come from these images.

Ken - thank you so much; I have long held the view that people are equally fascinated and focused on the 'wider view' and that means some of the magic of the closer strata and geology is lost on them (and us for that matter). There are more to come on this theme in the North Canyon.

Michele - #6 is also a firm favourite of mine as well; the feeling of motion in stone that is thousands of years old is something one has to marvel at.

Thanks again all and best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 21:27
Hi Neil! That's a wonderful set more than compensating the missing Antelope Canyon. I imagine this to be a quite spiritual experience - even when engaged in the profane task of taking photographs.

It is sometimes very odd in which way personal perferences differ from that of other viewers. My "absolute" favorites in the series are #8 - not really conventional (one has seen so many images of the Antelope that there is always the danger of creating some duplicates that appear to be even corny), but rather dramatic in a way (the narrower) Antelope is rarely depicted. My second absolute favorite is #2 - very much reduced to an almost abstract image, making the the sand running down the wall a vivid element - a gorgeous view - simple, elegant, effective.

Of course, there are many other candidates in the set for my top rank: #9, #12 and #13 in particular. The set seems to be the climax of your journey - at least to me. And again I would be fascinated to see some of these images converted to b/w.

A joy to view! All the best!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 21:39
It's been a few years since I've been out there, don't know what the situation might be with any of these places at this time, but here's some info on a few other slot canyons in that part of the world.

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/slot-canyons-american-southwest/
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 21:46
Hi Roy,

Thanks for the link - there's some interesting one's on there and also one's I wouldn't think of doing due to the tight confines - 10 inches wide is a bit on the narrow side...

The last one that is mentioned, however, is interesting as it goes back to the very first posting I did in this series on Utah - Valley of Fire State Park, and I would urge people who are stopping over in Las Vegas to hunt this location out as, with it's 'Wave', it looks like there are some very interesting and photogenic locations hidden away in there. It's only 50 o so miles north of Vegas so fairly simple to get to.

Best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 22:13
Neil,

A bit off subject so hope you won't mind. Zion's Narrows is my all-time favorite hike in or our of the water, in or out of a slot canyon. Rent special water shoes from a local outfitter (you will be in the water a fair amount and the rocks are very slippery - I carried my camera in a waterproof bag and it saved me twice - once dunked and once up to my lower chest in water). There are many ways to approach this hike but it can easily be done as an out-and-back hike so as to only go as far in as you want or can undertake or it can be an over nighter.

Roger

P.S. As an out and back hike, no special skills are required and no special obstacles (as best as I can recall) need be dealt with other than the slippery rocks when in the water. Depending on the time of year the water can be very cold - overcome by renting proper attire which is readily available from local outfitters at reasonable costs IMO.
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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2019 at 09:40
Hi Roger,

No problem - however, I should bring to your attention Image 7 in my previous series - walking the narrows in Zion now appears to be big business locally and, judging by the crowds of people swarming up the narrows when we were there, having the place 'to yourself' any time in a normal part of the season looks to be increasingly unlikely. Which is a great pity I have to say as I have previously seen some stunning images from there but it does, really, need the narrows to be clear of people (I nearly said bodies there - perhaps not what I meant!).

Thanks for the added input though - much appreciated!

best regards,

Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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