“The earth has music for those who listen.” William Shakespeare
In the past few years, we have traveled throughout Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Europe, Argentina, Southeast Asia and Africa. As such, we thought it was about time for us to explore some of our own backyard. We began with a visit to the home of good friends in Traverse City Michigan. Because we’d been there many times before, I decided to leave the camera in its bag and simply enjoy our stay. The weather was perfect as was the company of our friends and our many adventures. But soon it was time to say goodbye, and we were off to Utah.
I must admit I was a bit worried when the Las Vegas thermometer showed 114 degrees as we landed but after a VERY long drive into the mountains of Utah, our fears both of wildfires and climate evaporated quickly. We arrived very late at night so we began our first day at Bryce Canyon in the late morning on Thursday under clear skies and 70 degree weather.
Before you reach Bryce, you drive through the Red Canyon area of Dixie National Forest. It’s a small preview of what’s to come but it’s quite beautiful. And we were treated to our first natural bridge, one of many stone arches found in the area.
We decided that Day 1 would be all about getting the lay of the land, so we drove to each of the viewpoints in Bryce, as recommended by most everyone. I thought that since it was late morning and we were not hiking, there would be few opportunities for photography, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here are some of my favorites.
The light became a bit harsh by late afternoon so we returned home for a break, then headed back to catch some evening light as well as, hopefully, a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Storm clouds moved in as early twilight began, which gave me some wonderful stormy-sky opportunities.
We decided to cut our losses (a good thing, as it turned out), and head out before the storm hit. One last stop at the appropriately-named Fairyland vista, and we called it a day.
All in all, it was an exhausting, exhilarating, amazing day. Bryce is everything it promised and then some. And my new Nikkor 10-24mm lens performed beautifully. Tomorrow, we hike down into the canyon – woo hoo! Adventure awaits 🙂
Note: All photos taken with Nikon D/300s – which survived it’s fall from my tripod quite nicely – with tripod and circular polarizer
- Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
- Sandstone Arch, Red Canyon: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/100
- Lone Tree, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
- Bryce Canyon Aglow: Nikkor 10-24mm @24 mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/30
- Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
- Balancing Act, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 70-200mm @125mm, ISO 200, f/16, 1/100
- Stormy Skies, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 400, f/11, 1/50
- Gathering Clouds, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 400, f/11, 1/40
- Fairyland Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon: Nikkor 70-200 @95mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/3