This is a continuation from my last post on my trip to Death Valley and Zion. I recently was able to get my film developed and ended up scanning some images the other night. Overall the trip was a success, not just because I got a few shots that I’m happy with, but also because I learned to appreciate the moments more than worrying about getting a good shot.
On previous trips, I’d try to plan out all my locations and times, shot lists, etc etc. with the expectation that if I planned enough, I’d definitely get a shot I was happy with. Every time I thought this way though, I’d get disappointed with the results and not get to really take in the beauty around me. This trip was different – I really enjoyed just hiking and scouting, wandering, and exploring. I had many moments when I would just slow down my pace, feel the warmth of the sun or hear the movement of the water, take a deep breath, and exhale peacefully. Made me realize I’d really like to do this more often.
This first shot is from Death Valley at Dante’s View. This is actually the first time I’ve been up there, and its an amazing view of the valley below. I remember leaving Furnace Creek area when the temperature was around 90 degrees. Then driving up to Dante’s View, the temperature dropped all the way to 70, with some strong winds – pretty amazing difference in climates. I really enjoyed just being up there, hearing the wind, looking out to the valley, and feeling like I was on another planet. This image is actually a composite of two 4×5 shots stitched to create a panorama. The detail is pretty incredible, and could be printed out to about 8 ft without loss of quality.
Fuji Velvia 100 – 90MM : F22 @ 1/8th
This next shot was at the Mesquite Dunes. I’ve always wanted to find a shot here, but for some reason never could in the past. This time I decided to venture out and explore some new areas of the dunes that I never have before. I ended up finding a fresh dune with a nice s-curving crest line. The clouds were good that day as well, and lit up nicely after the sun set behind the mountains. It was another one of those moments of peace, sitting on the top of the dune and watching the sun go down, seeing the light changing before your eyes.
Fuji Velvia 100 – 90MM : F22 @ 8 sec
My next part of the trip was Zion. I drove there from Death Valley and arrived for about a week of photography and hiking. The first day I scouted the whole park, just to see the color and check out some locations that I haven’t been before. The next day I hiked the Narrows and found a great shot – probably my favorite from the trip, in wall street. I remember having my camera set up and seeing the light slowly creep around the stone walls, skimming the edges and painting them with a beautiful warm glow. I was really surprised how the colors showed up on film, this is almost exactly how it appears on the light table.
Fuji Velvia 100 – 210MM : F22 @ 15 sec
Here is one more shot from the narrows. I would’ve actually liked to shoot this as a vertical image, but was trying to restrict myself to mainly horizontal compositions on this trip. I found this shot on my second trip into the narrows.
Kodak Ektar 100 – 90MM : F22 @ 1 min 8 sec
These two shots are from my hike to the Subway. This was an amazing hike, very strenuous, but definitely worth it. The scenery at the end is truly breathtaking, and surreal. The first section of the hike is pretty intense, descending 4000 feet very quickly, and then once in the canyon, hiking up and down large boulders and through creeks and water pools. Here is my favorite shot from the Subway, and the main attraction of the hike.
Kodak Ektar 100 – 90MM : F22 @ 30 sec (pushed +1)
Here is the second photo of the crack section of Subway. A great big crack in the middle of very slippery rock, with water rushing through. I’d like to come back and shoot this again, but I thought I’d still include it in here.
Fuji Velvia 100 – 210MM : F22 @ 5 sec
Overall, this was a great trip, one of the best I’ve had. I can’t wait to start doing more trips like this, and revisiting Zion next year in the fall. I really can’t get enough. Thanks for reading!
(All images Copyright of Justin Nambiar – Please seek written consent for any use of imagery)