Winter In Southern Utah

Day One

On a spontaneous decision, I decided to go down to southern Utah for a photography trip. There was reports of a snow storm that hit the day before and another coming while I was down there. This trip was a little different to most because of the unique weather.

I arrived to a location that I had been wanting to visit for a long time and I was finally there. I got that burst of excitement as I pulled up in my car, got out and started looking around for comps prior to sunset. The weather forecast was to be clear that night and I was pleased because I wanted to shoot a part of the Milky Way that is only visible for a few months of the year. Shooting in these conditions is very difficult but also unique which is why I had the motivation for the trip. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the sky blew up with the light catching the high clouds. I frantically tried to get myself a few different images while the color lasted. By the end of the sunset shoot, I could not feel my hands and could hardly take anymore photos because it was so cold. As I waited for complete darkness, I warmed up in the car and made dinner. I set up my tripod, aligned my tracker to Polaris and was all set for some astro photography in some of the darkest skies in America.

I got a few photos of Pleiades (the Seven Sisters) as I was waiting for Orion to pop up and get into alignment for a shot I had in mind. After getting all my tracked shots, I made my way down to the cliff face where there was a platform I could stand on to take my self-portrait. I set my camera timer and ran down and out to the platform where I stood still for thirty seconds (it felt like a lifetime). As I was standing there I think I got some vertigo, started to feel light headed and that I was dreaming because it was so surreal. After my camera had finished, I return to it to take a series of images to stack for noise reduction. Jumping into my car for a good nights sleep was amazing, minus the cold.

Day Two

I woke up extremely cold and checked the temperature in my car and it said 9F/-13C. There was some incredible ice formations that covered the inside of the car windows. I was so cold I couldn’t stand sticking around for sunrise so I started the car and drove off looking for somewhere to shoot while I got warm. I came across this unique butte and had to pull over. I took a few shots and different compositions until the sun rose enough for me to get the drone out for some potentially cool photos.

Was lucky enough to get some amazing color for sunrise.

Was lucky enough to get some amazing color for sunrise.

Here's a little video of me getting my drone out for the second time. Took some photos of this spot and did some video. I always forget to use my drone when I'm out taking photos but I want to start doing some more!

I headed to Moab to check-in to a hotel because it was just too cold without the appropriate gear. I can tell you now, that shower was bliss! I later caught up with a good friend Joshua Snow (j.snow_photo) where we went and shot the Delicate Arch. Got some nice golden light for sunset. In the morning we shot Dead Horse but we got skunked, so returned for sunset where the clouds broke up enough for the sun and light to come through.

Incredible conditions for an extremely well-known location.

Incredible conditions for an extremely well-known location.

The next day, I returned home to go back to work and get ready for school - reality sucks sometimes. It was an eventful trip and one that I won’t ever forget. If you’ve made it to this point, thank you very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the blog!