It seems like forever since we have been to the Rim, the Mogollon Rim, that is. I used to post photos from the Rim all the time, but life has been busy and we just haven’t taken the time.
But last night was a great exception, and reminded us that we have to go out more often. Put the shovel down and just GO!
We camped at an awesome spot off of Milk Ranch Road. The overlook was absolutely surreal. I even managed to get a few star pix.
Last I blogged, I spoke about the Mogollon Rim and it’s many faces. We continue to explore it’s personalities and strive to find new places to capture it’s essence. This week’s trip took us to Milk Ranch Rd, which is kinda on-the-rim-off-the-rim. You still get those great views, but not the great winds (if you’ve been to Mogollon Rim you know what I mean, it’s always windy).
We found a great spot and stayed overnight to get sunset and sunrise shots. The sun casts shadows across the canyons creating dark lines, making it ever challenging to capture. But I’m up for the continued challenge.
Unfortunately, on this particularly trip I forgot my tripod. Pretty humorous that was an issue for me, as I have never been a tripod shooter. It always seemed such a pain. Now that I have embraced it, I can’t live without it. I can set up the tripod and take those low light photographs (sunrise, sunset, stars) while maximizing my aperture to let lots of light in but still keeping my ISO low to avoid noise. Star photos were a bit dicey though taken on a sweatshirt. The glow of our fire cast a orange hue on the pine trees above.
Arches, while aptly named with memorable arches to view and walk amongst, is so much more. It is multiple spires, hoodoos if you will, large canyons and seas of rock formations jutting out of the valley floor… and arches.
Arches true colors shine at sunset when the colors turn a brilliant unreal orange-red.
The rock pillars radiate as if they were on fire, taking on an other worldly glow. It makes you stop dead in your feet just to take it in. It comes like a storm, lights up the world, then without pause or hesitation it disappears behind the horizon until it comes back tomorrow.
For me, I’m just happy to be witness to it’s grandeur and share in it’s awesome beauty.
Have you been to… or heard of Alstrom Point? It’s on the back side of Lake Powell, north of Page. We have seen photos of this amazing place and wanted to check it out for ourselves. If you go to Page, continue west to Big Water. Stop at Big Water Visitor Center for a fascinating education in this dinosaur rich area, with over 4000 dinosaur’s being discovered just in the last 10 years, many newly discovered species. They’ll give you a detailed map on how to get to Alstrom Point. But essentially it’s behind Big Water along a long 2 hour dirt road.
The overlook was nothing short of stunning.
We camped out so we could get sunset, sunrise, and star photos. We enjoyed it so much, we stayed 2 nights. It was one of those magical moments that you remember for a life time. Watching the full moon rise over the lake was fantastic. This orange ball rose just behind Gunsight Butte, lighting up the sky like it burst into flames.
Because we were there 2 nights we got to do sunrise and sunset, as well as night stars.
Pictures don’t do it justice. It was a fabulous couple days.
We went camping the other day, and to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit embarrassed by how FEW photos I took. The advantage to night camping (particularly at my age) is I can get night shots – stars, milky way, etc. But I took only a handful of photos… and didn’t stray far from the fire.
This time of year, there is still some snow on the ground, and the overnight temps can be chilly. So I didn’t even get out the tripod. I handheld my camera and took a couple pix of my favorite model – my faithful and patient love-of-my-life husband, John.
It stuns me the quality of photo one can get in our digital cameras these days. With ISO’s that can go up to 200,000, one can make a pitch dark photo look like daylight. In the old days of film, you could buy high ISO film, but you paid for it in graininess and noise in your photos. Forget about using your zoom or stopping down your aperture, it was just grainy.
The photo above was taken at an aperture of f/9.0 at 4000 ISO. Amazing right?
Above was taken at f/4.0, 10,000 ISO. By shooting with a large aperture I could not only draw in as much light as possible, my depth of field is shallow, and I grab the cast glow from the fire. It’s just amazing to see what modern digital cameras are capable of.
We were at the rim the other day… doing some leaf peeping. No major color changes just yet… so we’ll just have to wait, and go back.
We did see this cool little horny toad, have a nice dinner and watch the sun set and stars come out though.
A super moon only happens like once a year… when the moon is full and closest to the earth. The next super moon is scheduled for Nov 14, 2016.
Even more rare is when a super moon is in full lunar eclipse, making it appear red in color, i.e. it’s term ‘blood moon’. The next blood moon isn’t expected until 2033.
You can tell I have dusted off my tripod and am doing some interesting night photography. With these cars zipping by this lonely quiet (and dark) stretch of 89A in Lee’s Ferry, I had the perfect opportunity to try some car trails. I set up the camera and used my headlamp to focus at my distant subject. Then I set up my tripod and set it on a long exposure of 20 seconds.
The forward going lights were cool… but bright starbursts. Things got even more interesting when I moved around to let the car lights light up my subject… and even more interesting when trucks with multiple lights sped by.
Lee’s Ferry is that desolate less talked about destination outside of Page. Everyone hears about Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon, but few are familiar with Lee’s Ferry. Lee’s Ferry is the launch point for Grand Canyon rafters.
It’s cliffs and buttes are part of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and Soap Creek area. We had intended to explore the area with our boat, but apparently the boat had other ideas and wasn’t up for the trip. So instead we did some hiking. Our dog, Journey, kept us from doing anything to strenuous which was fine.
The area is very cool with all it’s rock formations and boulder ‘art’.
Being in the middle of nowhere the stars were brilliant and picturesque. Next time we hope to take the boat and see Lee’s Ferry from an entire different perspective.
Ok, now this is cool! Scott stayed up with us all night to get this shot. It’s a 1 hour and 15 minute exposure, 30 seconds at a time. It literally tracts the movement of the stars across the sky. The free software StarStaX stitches it together making it super easy to do… other than waiting around for the exposure. But then, I’d argue, that was the best part. Thanks, Scott. You’re awesome!