Utah

 

With a tight budget, we crammed 8 people and gear into 2 cars and drove 9 hours from Fort Collins, CO, to the small town of Hurricane, Utah. We arrived late at night to the old Hurricane hotel, which is now an Airbnb. Never before have I felt so certain that a place posessed spirits. We rested and awoke at 4AM and drove the 20 minutes to Zion National Park, a place I had visited as a child but was still caught entirely off guard at its majesty. Hiking up to Angels Landing before sunrise, guided in the dark by dim headlights, with voices bouncing off the canyon walls, we made it to the top just as the orange light crested the horizon. We spent the rest of the day exploring Zion. The next day, we drove to Page, Arizona, to see the famous Horseshoe Bend, a place that photos cannot do justice to the massive size of the canyon carved by the Colorado River. Operating mainly at sunrise and sunset for optimal lighting, our crew of gung-ho photographers made it to the Southern side of the Grand Canyon by golden hour. Finally pulling back into Hurricane by early hours of the morning, we trekked back the next day to Moab and explored Arches National Park, namely the Fiery Furnace. Exploring these arches and caverns was incredible, but unfortunately led to the demise of my camera. However, I am thoroughly pleased with the work I’ve gotten from the 4 years with that camera, with some of the following to be my favorites ever. With this set, I really took advantage of my friends and used them as scale in the shots, which worked nicely with these vast landscapes. The last sunrise in Moab before heading back to Fort Collins, we went to Landscape Arch, an iconic place where photographers line up well before dawn to take nearly identical shots, I was able to stand back, take in the morning, and reflect, without worrying about taking pictures- something I will be doing more of. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what’s the point if I don’t appreciate the moment as it happens?

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