Photographs by Frank

11 October 2018

2018 Road Trip (Part 9) — Great Sand Dunes National Park

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:15 PM

Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado was the last “scenic” stop on our road trip.

We arrived in the late afternoon to interesting light on the dunes and made some good photos. The details in the windblown sand were as interesting to me as the epic landscape. The sun went behind some clouds on the horizon well before it set ending photography for the day. Such is life.

We camped for the night and hoped for nice light in the morning. Alas, this was not to be. However, we got an early start towards home!

These dunes are, simply said, fantastic… unreal. They scale is difficult to comprehend… there are some very tiny people in some of the frames. The first ridge of dunes (which is all one can see here) is 700 feet high.

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Great Sand Dunes 01
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< Part 8

2018 Road Trip (Part 8) — Mesa Verde National Park

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:15 PM

Not much to say… Mesa Verde, in southwestern Colorado, is reputed to be “the site” for prehistoric Native American ruins. It lives up to its reputation. We spent a rainy morning in the museum. It was as interesting as any of the outdoor sites.

Color work —

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Mesa Verde 01
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Black and white work —

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< Part 7Part 9>

2018 Road Trip (Part 7) — Natural Bridges & Hovenweep National Monuments

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:15 PM

On the drive from Capitol Reef NP to Hovenweep National Monument we made a brief stop at Natural Bridges National Monument to view the sights from the rim. Between the altitudes and the knees, the steep hike to the bottom of the canyon for close up views of the bridges was not on the agenda.

Natural Bridges

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Natural Bridges 01
Natural Bridges 01
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Natural Bridges 05

The drive from Capitol Reef in south central Utah to Hovenweep National Monument on the Utah- Colorado border passes through some of the most desolate and fantastic terrain I have even experienced, we did not stop to make any photographs… we were pressed for time and for places to safely pull the camper off the roadside. A return trip is certainly warranted.

The remote Hovenweep National Monument is well worth the trip to this out of the way spot. It is not as “built up” as the busier Mesa Verde National Park, The ruins are not as large or as extensive as in Mesa Verde but they are very accessible and interesting.

Hovenweep

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Hovenweep 01
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< Part 6Part 8>

2018 Road Trip (Part 6) — Capitol Reef National Park

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:14 PM

After the (photographically) tough conditions at Bryce, Capitol Reef National Park was a cake walk. The light (especially in the evening) was perfectly directed and the skies had wonderful clouds. In addition to driving the roads, we hiked in both of the accessible side canyons, Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge.

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Capitol Reef 01
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< Part 5Part 7>

2018 Road Trip (Part 5) — Bryce Canyon National Park

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:14 PM

Our next stop and our first in southern Utah was Bryce National Park. This park was tough for me photographically*. It was still an interesting place to see in person after seeing many, many photographs.

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Bryce Canyon 01
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* The light was harsh most of the time we were there and the light in much of the canyon (which was accessible without a long steep hike) faded early, well before sunset.


< Part 4Part 6>

2018 Road Trip (Part 4) — Sunset Crater & Wupatki National Monuments

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:14 PM

Heading north from Flagstaff after our raft trip, we did not go far (maybe twenty-five miles) before stopping at the two adjacent national monuments. Sunset Crater preserves some interested and geologically recent, volcanic features. The weather the morning we were there was drab and rainy… not very good for photography of dark lava, but it was interesting none-the-less. The weather improved as the day progressed and we moved on to Wupatki which preserves a number of early Native American ruins.

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Sunset Crater 01
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Wupatki 01
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< Part 3Part 5 >

2018 Road Trip (Part 3) — Grand Canyon Raft Trip

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:13 PM

The genesis of this road trip began about three years ago, when Bernice Lewis (a singer-songwriter from Williamstown, MA) mentioned at the end of a concert, that she was organizing a raft trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. We did not think twice before saying “Sign us up!”.

The trip had a musical flavor. We traveled with guitars, ukuleles and other makers of joyful noise. Music was made each evening and a few times at stops during the day. Songs were sung most of the time and more than a few verses of, mostly doggerel, lyrics were composed while floating the river.

The rafts, guides, etc. were provided by Arizona Rafting Adventures (AZRA) out of Flagstaff, AZ. The two rafts were large motorized craft. They accommodated 29 folks, including the guides, and everything we needed (or wanted) for ten days.

One thing the rafts were not… dry! We were damp (or soaked) for most of the day while on the river. All part of the adventure!

Our guides (Jeb, Dennis, Kelly and Bert) kept us safe. entertained. educated and well fed. Thank you all.

The service provided by AZRA and our guides was first-rate. Highly recommended.

During they day, while on the water, I made relatively few photographs. The light was poor (harsh and high) and my little cameras batteries gave out some time on day four. Most of my “river photos” were made in camp, either early-ish in the morning or late in the afternoon, as we made camp for the night. The real “golden hour” light (just after sunrise or just before sunset) that landscape photographers love never reaches to the river st the bottom of a canyon. Although I knew this going in, it still took some getting used to when actually there at the bottom of the canyon.

I was most interested in making photographs showing the river in the main canyon…

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River Trip Main Canyon 01
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River Trip Main Canyon 12

Some days, we made mid-day stops to hike side canyons…

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River Trip Side Canyons 01
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Sometimes the light at the “local rim” was too interesting to pass up…

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River Trip (Looking Up) 01
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Here are some photos I made while actually on the rafts….

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River Trip (from rafts) 01
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Even though the colors in the canyon border on fantastical, I made some black and white photos…

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River Trip (Black and White) 01
River Trip (Black and White) 01
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River Trip (Black and White) 09

< Part 2Part 4 >

2018 Road Trip (Part 2) — North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:13 PM

While we were at the North Rim, we camped at the Demotte Campground, a nice quiet spot, in Kaibab National Forest, about 20 miles north of the park entrance. Most mornings we headed into the park early and stayed until the light faded. One day we explored the rim overlooks accessible via the National Forest roads.

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< Part 1Part 3 >

2018 Road Trip (Part 1) — Introduction / Canyon de Chelly

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:12 PM

We are back from our 2018 road trip!

We headed west on Labor Day and arrived home on Sunday… five weeks and 6940 miles total. We pulled our little teardrop camper and spent most nights camping.

The centerpiece of the trip was the Grand Canyon. We spent five days at the North Rim and then ten days rafting the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek (more about this in another post). Both before and after the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a number of other national parks and monuments.

On the way west, we spent four  days (three nights) on the interstate system before hitting the local roads somewhere west of Albuquerque, NM and heading for Canyon de Chelly National Monument along the Arizona-New Mexico border in the four corners area.

We arrived at Canyon de Chelly in the late afternoon and camped there for two nights. This was our standard  operating mode for most stops, giving me two late afternoons/evenings and two mornings for photography when the sun is low(ish) in the sky.

From Canyon de Chelly, we headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where we spent four nights camped in the National Forest campground just north of the park. From the North Rim, we headed to Flagstaff (and one night in a motel) to meet up with the folks we would be rafting with.

Early the next morning (15 Sept.) we were on the AZRA* bus headed for the put-in at Lee’s Ferry. We spent the next ten days floating the river and being well tended to by the guides. The take-out was on the morning of the 24th. After another bus ride (back to Flagstaff) and another night in a motel (with hot showers!), we were ready for the rest of our trip.

We did not get too far on the first day, post-raft trip… only to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments, twenty or twenty-five miles north of Flagstaff, where we camped for one night.

From there we headed for Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah (for two nights) then, with a quick daytime stop at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, to Capitol Reef National Park (two nights). Next it was on to Hovenweep National Monument (two nights) with another quick stop at Natural Bridges National Monument on the way. After Hovenweep we headed to Mesa Verde National Park (two nights) and Great Sand Dunes National Park (one night) in southwestern Colorado, before deciding to find Interstate 70 and head home.

Of course, I took some photographs along the way….  3263 exposures total to be exact! I have spent much time since we returned home editing this mass down to 495 frames (i.e. 15% of the total) which I “developed”. I then made a second pass at editing and have 182 photos (5.6% of the total) which will appear here on the blog. Hopefully, this is a small enough number that no one will fall asleep during the slide show!

Thus, to begin, here are the photos from Canyon de Chelly; more (from other places) will follow in subsequent posts.

Color Work

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Canyon de Chelly 01
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Black and White Work

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Canyon de Chelly 11
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*AZRA — Arizona Rafting Adventures (more about them in a later post)


Part 2 >

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