Oak and grasslands at sunset, Sierra Nevada foothills, California. 31mm, five frames blended with Lightroom’s HDR Merge, each frame at f/11, ISO 100.
While looking through my photographs from last year, I realized there were many images that I hadn’t had a chance to post before.
One of those was this photograph of a lone oak at sunset in the Sierra foothills. I made this on April 6th, during the first lockdown. Yosemite was closed, and we couldn’t travel outside our county, but Claudia and I felt lucky to live in the Sierra foothills, where we could easily drive to some beautiful spots without encountering any other people. We explored and photographed places we hadn’t been to before, and it was fun discovering these new locations in our backyard.
Dusk light, Grand Canyon, Arizona
In a recent post I described how Claudia and I made a spur-of-the-moment detour to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrived in the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day checking out various viewpoints.
As sunset approached we had just enough light to check out one more spot. We made it there just after sunset, and in the gathering dusk I thought the light in the canyon to the west was exquisite: soft, with a beautiful backlit glow, and a slight haze to add atmosphere and depth.
Morning sunlight from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. I used the “thumb technique” to reduce flare in this image; see the post for more details.
On our road trip last month Claudia and I found ourselves in Kanab, Utah. We cooked breakfast at a picnic table in a small park in town, and discussed our next move. There are a lot of options from Kanab. Should we head to Zion? Detour east toward the Paria River area? Drive the Cottonwood Canyon Road?
And then I thought, we’re pretty close to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. And neither of us had ever been there. So the North Rim it was.
First light on aspens, Colorado. I waited for the sun to come up over a ridge and rake across this hillside, thinking that the first light catching the tops of the trees might be interesting. This turned out to be one of my favorite images from the trip. 297mm, 1/45th sec. at f/11, ISO 100.
After photographing fall color in northern Utah, and then having our course deflected toward Dinosaur National Monument, Claudia and I did finally make our way to the aspen groves in Colorado.
As we were quickly discovering on this trip, the pandemic has made outdoor recreation especially popular this fall, so well-known spots were busier than usual, and campsites hard to come by.
But there are lots of aspens in Colorado. Millions of them. If you’re in Colorado at elevations between 8,000 and 10,000 feet, there are bound to be aspens nearby. We didn’t have a particular timetable, so we looked at maps, picked out some likely spots, and just went.
Sandstone formations, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
After visiting northern Utah on our recent road trip, we headed toward Colorado, but on the spur of the moment we decided to make a detour to Dinosaur National Monument.
When our son Kevin was five years old we made a trip to Dinosaur. Kevin was totally into dinosaurs at that age, and was thrilled to visit a place where dinosaurs had once lived, and to see actual dinosaur fossils in place in the dinosaur quarry. It was a magical experience for him.
Backlit aspens, northern Utah
Claudia and I have been on a road trip for about two weeks now. It’s been a fun, relaxing journey. We don’t have any specific plans, so we’re exploring some out-of-the-way places we’ve never been to before, looking for fall color and anything else that seems interesting.
We started in northern Utah. where the maples weren’t as vibrant as last year, but we saw some nice patches of color. And then we ventured farther into the boonies and found beautiful mountains, aspens, and some moose.