Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Birthday Trip Part 9

There were many 'points' along the rim trail and each one was a different elevation. They could have all been named Inspiration Point as the view from each was spectacular and different.

The variety of colour was almost endless. There was no red in the above area, unusual for Bryce. However, the texture and make-up of the soil was no different.

This was one of my favourite sections of the canyon. There were no hiking trails to this area. The many caverns were totally invisible in midday when the light was flat. Then they would gradually take shape as the sun hit them from a different angle. The point from which this photo was taken was the coldest and windiest. I was hanging onto my hat with one hand and hitting the camera shutter release with the other. My teeth were chattering and I thought I would never get warm again. How deceiving it looks now.

The reds really snapped to life when the sun hit them.

For those who come to Bryce Canyon and see it only in the midday hours, they are missing by mere hours the spectacle of a life time. Around 5 pm, you begin to notice shapes and colours that were not there before. It just keeps getting better.

I don't think I have ever seen light play with shapes and colours the way it does here. If you turn your back on a scene for 10 minutes, you may have missed something beautiful. But then the next display might be even better.

We could not run from point to point, so, ideally, a photographer should come back many times during the changing of the light and stand at a different view point each time. The above tree and its suspended root system is a testament to the rapid erosion of the canyon rim. The tree is not that old, yet its root system, which at one time was below ground, is now totally exposed. However, it was quite firmly attached. Because of the arid climate, the roots go deep.

The light .... oh the light!

This outcropping was totally back lit, and yet the front facing us is lit up as though I used flash. That is because the reflections in the canyon, rock face to rock face, are continual and varied. In places, it looks like there are spotlights placed at strategic places among the hoodoos, but I assure you, there is no such thing there. It is not necessary.

Climbing down into the canyon was the best. It gives a different and better perspective on the spires and hoodoos.

The balancing acts are amazing. Everywhere one sees things that should have fallen down long ago. It all seems to defy gravity.

Every so often, I am in the right place at the right time. This was one of those times.

How does this light work? I still have not figured that out. This is a unique place on all the earth.

Sunset is approaching and the west rim already in shadow. There were many professional photographers at this view point, heavy duty tripods, high end DSLR's and taking rapid fire bracketed photos continually. Then up walks a Japanese tourist and takes some photos with his monster iPad. There was a lot of smirking going on.

Even though the sun is going down, the light is still enough to bring out the colours. Note the snow. It was still very cold.

Now the shadows have overtaken this end of the canyon. You can see the hikers trying to climb out before dark.

The trails were good, but I found the hiking shoes I was wearing were a definite must. Good footing was vital.

Last light at the bottom.

Everything in shadow now but the distant hills, a good 25 miles away. We would drive that way the next morning and look back on Bryce from 25 miles away. Close-up is better.

Rising at 6:15 am is a small price to pay for a sunrise at the canyon's rim. It was even more mesmerising than the sunset.

This and the next two photos are of the same general area and only minutes apart. This demonstrates how rapidly and interestingly the light changes and influences the colours.

The sun is now up. The best and brightest will now fade in the wash of direct sunlight until sunset approaches once again. It is time to move on. We have one more destination before the dash home to Las Vegas to catch our plane. But first a hearty breakfast and some hot coffee to thaw the fingers and toes. It is now off to the Kodachrome Bowl state park.


Gaye said...


Chris said...

I have never seen photos like these of Bryce Canyon. You said this is a unique place in all the earth....think about how many other unique places there are that you haven't seen in person yet. There is adventure to be had in every part of the world. Go do it!
Sis and I sat and viewed your pictures in large format and you should have heard the sounds coming from both our mouths. Awesome!!!

Terry said...

Thanks. I looked at very many photos of Bryce before we went and I tried to take photos from unusual angles. I was hoping for interesting light and certainly did get it. I will not show you all my 'duds'. :)