Red Rock Country in Blue and Silver

20130209_Utah Scenic Route 128_088Who knew red rock country could look silver and blue? A few images from my first trip to Moab this year (February 2013). All three were taken along Utah Scenic Route 128. It starts near the ghost-town of Cisco and follows the Colorado River into Moab via Professor Valley. The image above is available through Glow Artworks who I starting working with earlier this year.20130209_Utah Scenic Route 128_074It would not be Utah if the landscape did not have some evidence of the gas and oil industry. The facility above is part of a pipeline that runs through the area.

20130209_Utah Scenic Route 128_078Lastly a view into Professor Valley from Utah Scenic Route 128. Close to the center is Fisher Towers, an area not known to look blue. FWIW all 3 images were shot with the spectacular Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar lens.

Northern Utah: Fall Color

Fall color is in full swing here in Utah. Hope everyone is out enjoying it, I know I am. Last year I missed most of it due to travel so this is my first real Utah fall. It is amazing! In the coming weeks I’ll be posting more fall color, images from the Tetons, another Moab trip and an entirely new series. Hope to get things caught up before it starts snowing. Have fun exploring your world!

Exploring Canyonlands: Needles Overlook

After our trip to Beef Basin we decided to check out the needles overlook before returning to Moab. As luck would have it we were the only ones there. Even though the wind had kicked up lots of dust making the view  very hazy the Needles Overlook was no less stunning. Sometime I’ll have to stay at the camp ground a few miles from here and photograph this area early morning light. I’m sure it is spectacular.

Below: Looking toward the needles district. In the distance you can see Cathedral Butte (on the right).

Below: Views form the Needles Overlook are stunning even in hazy conditions. I wonder how many lens caps and hats you could find at the base of the cliff. Strong wind can seemingly come out of nowhere and the fence is welcomed. I don’t generally have a fear of heights but this overlook had me holding the railing more than once.

Below: Be where you are. As a photographer visiting such a spectacular location it can be tempting to just get into a zone and photograph like mad. My wife taught me the saying “be where you are” and I keep it in mind when out exploring our world. Taking photographs is a major part of my experience to be sure, however I do take time in-between shots to stop and take things in. The smell of Juniper and the sound wind blowing through evergreen are some of my favorites. Watching birds in the updrafts around the cliffs is another. If you just take pictures the whole time have you really experienced the place or is it just a photo location? 

Top 5 images from 2011

My top 5 images for 2011 start with this image from Little Cottonwood Canyon. Photographed on very foggy Fathers Day weekend. What pleases me most about this image is the sense of scale. The massiveness of the rock, the angle, the fact that the rocks disappear into the clouds.

Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. This has to be the dreamiest landscape I have taken.

Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. The multiple bands of color and texture make this a favorite of the year.

Fall Color in the Wellsville Canyon. Dreamy and vibrant, not what I was expecting to find in northern Utah.

Cliffs and fog in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. Similar to the first image in that it has cliffs and fog, here though I have opted for a panoramic cropping and a brighter overall feel. This landscape is successful to me because the sense of hight and angle of view. It has many places that you can get lost in it. This would be a great image to have a lone hiker or rock climber in. Or better yet a majestic bull elk standing at the edge of a rock.

All images were captured with my trusty Leica M8 and either a 35 or 50 mm Zeiss lens.

©2011 Andrew McAllister

The West Hills in Northern Utah

The West Hills of Northern Utah

The West Hills are just north of Tremonton, Utah and cradled by I15 and I84. The gorgeous rolling hills have many photographic possibilities. I’m glad that I live close to this area and look forward to visiting then in different seasons. The route I took was 30 west out of Logan to Riverside and then up north toward Plymouth and then west again toward Nucore Steel. From there the road changes to compressed gravel and you enter Johnson Canyon. The canyon is basically a route through the gently rolling hills, nothing like Logan Canyon or anything in Southern Utah. The area is a Cooperative Wildlife Management Area with No Trespassing signs about every 100 yards, must be a popular hunting area. After a short drive you arrive in Whites Valley. At the only intersection you choices are head West to go to the Let The Good Times Fly Hunting Club or head South and end up at Exit 32 (Ranch Exit, no services) on I84. At that this point I could have gone south on I84 toward Tremonten and then back to Cache Valley via Riverton or Brigham City. I chose to back track to get a second look at Nucore Steel and drive a road that two old guys I talked to earlier in the day suggested. That road is Short Divide and it crosses Gunsight Peak on the north end of Cache Valley. From that road there are some good views of the Wellsville Mountains. I was lucky that the road was open as it is listed as closed winters and it was clear most of the way. A few stretches that get no direct light had some serious ice to contend with. I’ll defiantly be back when it warms up. This area has some hiking possibilities.

Camera: Leica M8 w/ Zeiss zm 50/2

©2011 Andrew McAllister (text and images)