Zion National Park

I arrived at Zion National Park before dawn. It was still raining but lighter than yesterday; flash flood warnings were in effect for Zion and the surrounding area. Except for the occasional passing car, I was literally the only one in the park. As the sun began to rise, I could see the snow-capped mountains of Zion draped in haze. No words or pictures can begin to describe this park.

The intermittent rain continued most of the day but I shot non-stop (except for a late breakfast at the Zion Lodge). As I made my way up the canyon mountain pass, the sides of the road were covered in snow; the view was spectacular! Zion spans an area of over 147,000 acres; a small fraction of this can be viewed from the road. I did my best to see as much of the park as possible but Zion has many hidden secrets; some of which I hope to visit tomorrow.
Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire State Park looks like another planet. The sand and stone is red like the surface of Mars and the terrain varied. This photo of Arch Rock is an example of the formations sculpted by wind and rain. With a major storm approaching, I shot as much as I could before, during, and after the rain.

This area was once occupied by Indians who scratched petroglyphs into the desert varnish (black coating) on the sandstone. The petroglyphs are over 3000 years old.

Next stop, Zion National Park, Utah…

My Week Away

I spent the week at a conference at in Las Vegas. With so much to do and see, I had a hard time deciding what to photograph first. It’s a lot to carry but I had my 1D Mark III with me every night.

In the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel, the first thing you’ll see are 2,000 spectacular, hand-blown glass flowers on the ceiling. The sculpture was created by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly. Here is one of the many shots I took.

Another great spot is the Paris hotel with its version of the Eiffel tower. The tower is an exact replica of the original but rendered at 1/2 scale. The tower can be seen for miles at night but I prefer this close-up I captured standing just under the tower.

Next stop is the Valley of Fire State Park; just outside of Vegas.

Last Leaves

The last of the leaves are about to hit the ground so I took my camera along while running errands today. It was a bit overcast but that helped with the saturation. These vibrant, yellow maple leaves caught my eye. The last of the chlorophyll was visible in the veins which added some interest.

Concert Pics
My wife surprised me with tickets for the Sara Evans concert. As with most concerts, “professional” cameras are not allowed. Although it’s frustrating that I couldn’t bring my DSLR, my Canon S5 was allowed and did a decent job. Here are some pics.

Concerts shots can be challenging due to the constant changes in lighting, proximity to the stage, and fans who always seem to be in the way. These shots were taken in between the wiper-blade arm action of a fan directly in front of me. I don’t think she put her arms down once during the entire concert. It was almost hypnotic.

Despite the challenges, I managed to get some decent shots but still wish I could have used my DSLR!

By the way, the concert was great!

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