Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bryce Canyon National Park, Part I

The fourth and final National Park we visited on our summer road trip was Bryce Canyon. It was a couple of hours away from where we were staying near St. George, and not directly on our route back home. But it was one of those "when exactly are we going to be closer?" decisions, since the best answer we could come up with that question was "never." So we got an early start and headed out.

Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
The park has a perfect setup for what we were in the mood for, too.  One road in and out, no shuttles required.  We could stop where we wanted to, skip what we didn't, and if the kids wanted to stay in the car and catch Pokemon, well, that was their prerogative.  First stop was Sunrise Point, which certainly looked like it would be a beautiful place first thing in the morning.  It wasn't too shabby mid-morning, either.

Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
I had the tripod and the auto-bracket in full effect for this place, which enabled me to stitch together 18-image HDR panoramics like this one.

Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
Working with a single shot seems quaint in the face of the previous construction.  But sometimes, it captures the moment just fine.

Farview Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
We skipped the other spots overlooking the Bryce Amphitheater for now due to high volumes of tourists.  No, the irony is not lost on me.  By Farview Point things were much less congested.  Enough so that another mega-panoramic was in order.

Clouds were starting to roll in, but that was far from a bad thing.  Just the opposite, in fact.  My favorite skies for shooting sweeping vistas like these are partly cloudy ones -- plenty of texture but still plenty of sunlight.

Piracy Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
My semi-obsession with shooting dead trees goes back for years.  No need to rehash the details, but here's another one for the collection.

Yovimpa Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
Yovimpa Point marks the end of the road, and by this point the clouds had gotten even thicker.  I had to wait for a decent break to get some direct sunlight.

Yovimpa Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
Oddly one of my shots didn't bracket and my stitching software won't join it with this image and the previous one.  So instead have another nice panoramic I have two decent but unremarkable shots. Shame, because I like the falling rain in this one but would prefer to see it as a part of a larger scene.

All that was left was to turn around and head back for the entrance.  But there would be stops along the way!

Click here for Part II.

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