the photo blog about travel, history, and business
On the Road Again?
A favorite moment from years ago is a reminder of the joys of travel. Here we are in Arches National Park on a spectacular warm and partly cloudy day. My wife provides the photo's focal point as she makes here way along a path through desert greenery in the high country of Utah. Shortly after I took this photo, I caught up with her and we continued our walk together through this visually striking landscape.
This visit to Moab and its surroundings was a highlight of a six week road trip we took as part of a sabbatical from my law firm. As all travel does, it opened our eyes and provided us with memories and stories for the times we are not on the road. This trip also provided the first opportunity for me to try my hand at night sky photography, something I had been studying on my own,
The image above is one from my first late night photography outing. The location is a plateau in Capitol Reef National Park, an extremely dark place at 3 a.m. in the morning. The site where I set up was about a 20 minute drive from the motel. The ride out was solitary, with not even a single other car on the road.
There was a lot of trial and error on this first outing as you might expect. All the settings, including focus, are manual for this type of shot and you can't really see what you are capturing until after the image is taken. The small screen on the back of your camera shows you what your captured and then you adjust the camera and try again. And, then there was the gusty winds lashing across the plateau on this cold Spring evening that made it difficult to keep the camera steady on its tripod for the 60 second exposure needed to capture the image.
There was some success too, however, as you can see from the image above. Not only does it capture the Milky Way high in the sky above the sage brush but it also depicts the night's moon rise. You can see the first bit of the moon breaking above the horizon in the lower left corner.
What you can't see, however, is the sense of exhilaration that comes from being alone in the dark in a remote and wild location. Or, the sense of being exposed to who knows what when you cannot beyond a few feet in the dark.
This is how it can look when the wind gets the better of your camera and tripod set up. This image of a meteor shower above Dead Horse State Park taken later on another trip makes it look like the meteors are wiggling as the fall from the sky. A neat effect you might say but not an accurate reflection of the night. Strong winds shook the camera enough through it's long exposure to create the effect. Teenage Mutant Ninja Star Fall might be an appropriate title for this image. :^)
COVID took the freedom to roam away for too long and now global warming and droughts throughout the American West threaten the very survival of our land, at least in its present form. With the Western fire season we witnessed last year and the predictions for an order-of-magnitude greater fire season this year, does a road trip out West even make sense anymore?
Will all this uncertainty make this our last road trip? Absolutely not. There are still things to see and experience. Have Camera | Will Travel.
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All photos and text are copyright Clinton Richardson. If you like these posts, please tell your friends about the Venture Moola blog at Readjanus.com. And, feel free to share this blog. Click here if you would like to get a weekly email that notifies you when we release new entries. Or, click in the side column to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Travel, business and history with original photos.
Clinton Richardson - author, photographer, business advisor and traveler.
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