A Beautiful Morning in Monument Valley

My 35mm Lens

I must say that the Leica Lens I use the most for people/family shots is my 35mm f/1.4. I bought it a few years ago… and it’s great for most any situation! My people shots DO look better with the 90mm f/2 I think, but the 35mm is more general purpose. You can see more in my Leica Lens Buying Guide. If you want to see some samples with the 90mm f/2, check out my Papua New Guinea Photos.

Daily Photo – A Beautiful Morning in Monument Valley

Once again, it was a perfect day in Utah. I don't think I had bad weather more than 5% of the time… I don't know if that is normal or not for Utah? Who knows… Anyway, I was thankful for all these magical mornings that felt like the cover of a Larry McMurtry novel!

A Beautiful Morning in Monument Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Sun Dog in Utah

Burst Mode on my Android

I’m currently using the Nexus 6P Android phone and I noticed it has a really cool photo mode if you hold down the photo button. I tried it with my kids the other day, and it automatically took like 10 photos then picked the best one AND automatically made a cool collage. It was like a hidden feature I didn’t know about!

Daily Photo – Sun Dog in Utah

I think this thing is called a Sun Dog? I'm not totally sure… but it was a really cool phenomenon that I had not seen before. I suppose it happens when there is a little bubble of wet, humid air floating around… it definitely was not raining and this whole part of the desert in Utah was as dry as a bone.

Sun Dog in Utah

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length147.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Rainbow over Bryce Canyon

Back to Utah

Okay after three days of this, I’ve decided I gotta get back to Utah! 🙂

Daily Photo – Rainbow over Bryce Canyon

And then after the storm I was treated with this. How lucky! Whenever I see a rainbow I still get excited like a little girl. I know they just don’t last too long so I snap away while the magic is happening!

Rainbow over Bryce Canyon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Storm’s a-comin’

Day 2!

And for Day 3 of Utah, you’ll see what happened after I took this photo! Or, at least, what the storm caused…

Daily Photo – The Storm’s a-comin'

These seem to slam into the US during hot summers with quite a bit of authority! It was both exciting and a little worrying. I was wondering if I had time to get back to the car before everything completely unraveled. I did…but just barely.

The Storm’s a-comin'

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Utah in Mixed Light

Three Days of Utah?

Is it okay if I post three photos in a row of Utah? It’s been a while since I’ve done any Utah photos, so let’s have a little party here! 🙂

Daily Photo – Utah in Mixed Light

I found the quality of light in Utah to be absolutely amazing. It’s usually my favorite time to shoot around the mornings or evenings, and the light gets even better there then. I think it’s because this is one of the few places where there are red rocks, and then when a warm light hits them, they absolutely go on fire.

Utah in Mixed Light

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length190.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Flaming Anasazi Ruins

Getting Super-Lost

What is the most lost you’ve ever gotten? I get lost a lot, and it usually doesn’t bother me. The one below did a little bit because I did have a much-desired destination at a certain time of the day for the light! It caused me a bit of stress, which I usually don’t have… was not a big fan!

Daily Photo – The Flaming Anasazi Ruins

Good lord this place was hard to find! I had quite unremarkable directions. First, it was almost impossible to figure out where to turn off the main highway. There were many dirt road options, and none of them seemed right. And then, at one point, I had to figure out how far down that dirt road to go! I went way to far at once and got myself into a serious car-trouble-situation. I somehow got myself out of that then doubled-back to find a probable spot. The next step was walking about a mile down a canyon where I had no idea where I was going! There were no trails, no signs, no nothing. I got to the point where I was thinking, man, I'm not even close. And then, there it was.

The Flaming Anasazi Ruins

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Through the soft roads of Zion

The Team’s in Town!

I’m excited to have at least some of the Stuck in Customs team visiting Queenstown this week! I wish we could get everyone out here. We’re preparing for the workshop this week, which will be absolutely amazing. The weather should be incredible, and we continually get a great group of people that come to these things.

Daily Photo – Through the Soft Roads of Zion

I love the roads in Zion! I know this is a strange thing to say about them, but whenever I see this exact color and texture of roads, they feel so soft and rubbery. Even the way they grip the car feels different. And, naturally, they look so good hyper-colored in the photos!

Through the Soft Roads of Zion

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Goats Who Stare at Men

Has anyone seen “Her”?

What did you think about it?

Daily Photo – The Goats Who Stare at Men

I came to this wonderful, alien hillside one evening to take sunset photos. The lines and the clouds and everything lined up, and I thought it would be a perfect evening.

So after I took the photos, I laid back on this slope to take a little nap and wait for the stars. I took off my glasses and kind of set them behind me. I closed my eyes for a bit, and when I opened them up, there was a GOAT STARING DOWN AT ME. I just about levitated off the ground a few inches in shock while the goat clicked away. I flailed around and my glasses went skidding down the hill, glass side down. It was darker than that goat's eye sockets and I couldn't find them for five minutes. I finally found them, and there are still, to this day, a thousand tiny little scratches on them. It drives me nuts… anyway, I got my camera and got the heck out of there.

The Goats Who Stare at Men

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Wolf Howling at the Sky

Lighting Decisions

When I process a photo like this, I usually go through a bit of a decision matrix about lighting. Since I’m combining multiple shots, I can choose to have everything equally lit, or go with a full-on silhouette. Such power! Haha… sometimes all the decisions can make you seize up a little bit, which is not a good thing. I try not to get caught up in the decision and just try different things and let it flow. In this case, I went with mostly a silhouette, but I did a bit of lighting in the foreground. I think it adds a nice layer right there in front of you.

Daily Photo – The Wolf Howling at the Sky

The shapes in Monument Valley are right out of all the westerns you watched when you were a kid. So, when I was there for the first time it was a bit surreal. Now, I know many readers here have been there several times and they are experts at this area… but it was all fresh and new to me! As long as there are good clouds, I think it is relatively easy to get a good shot here! Sort of a lay-up, I think! Some photos you have to work really really hard for… and those are fine… but I also like a few of these that make themselves a bit easier.

The Wolf Howling at the Sky

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Utah Summerstorm

Non-Texas Storms

I never get those big scary Texas late summer storms any more. The huge mountains here all around me break up the clouds a bit so they never have a chance to get too crazy. There is all kinds of fast-changing weather here though… cold storms in the morning that open up to 75 degree days in the afternoon. Bright blue sunny mornings that turn into bitter icy evenings… it all happens here!

Daily Photo – Utah Summerstorm

There are many wide-open areas across Utah after you emerge from tight canyons. It changes very quickly, and then it also reminds you how quick the weather can change. Whenever you can see a huge storm in the distance moving this way and that, everything feels a bit surreal. It's not clear if the storm coming your way or not, although, secretly, I think everyone wishes it really is. A big storm is kinda fun, eh? 🙂

Utah Summerstorm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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