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Photography Question 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
 

Suggestions for First-time Trip to US Southwest


I am a now-single female who desperately needs to get away for a holiday. I was thinking of taking a trip to the Grand Canyon, but don't know where would be good to visit. I have also been told that Bryce Canyon is excellent for pictures. I would like to go someplace that will afford me great colours and contrast (red rocks & blue skies) but a place also where I don't have to drive hours to get to each photo op. I am not a hiker. I've also heard Sedona, AZ is beautiful. Since I have never been in the US Southwest (other than California last December), I would appreciate some input from my friends here at BP. I will be travelling from Toronto, Canada by myself. I am an avid amateur photographer that has been taking some photography courses at college for interest sake, not career-wise.

Any suggestions, links or accomodation ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you BP friends for your input.

Gloria
Your Canuck BP Friend


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5/27/2007 9:10:02 AM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Southern Utah has Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, (all with red rocks) and Capitol Reef National Parks, the landscape of the whole area is beautiful. Take a look at the U.S. National Parks website for more info, www.nps.gov.


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5/27/2007 10:30:35 AM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Thanks for your input Stephanie. Have you been there? If so, where did you visit?

Glo


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5/27/2007 10:59:52 AM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Yes, I was in that area last summer, I went through all the places I mentioned except Capitol Reef. We didn't stay long as it was late July and very hot, but it's very pretty. The landscape looks like something from another planet.


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5/27/2007 11:37:13 AM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Thanks for your help. I'll check our the website you suggested.

Glo


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5/27/2007 11:42:46 AM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Just marking this thread incase there are more comments/ideas.
We're going to the Grand Canyon, Bryce/etc., and Moab in July. Never been to any of them.

Bob


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5/27/2007 11:52:13 AM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  If you don't mind me asking, where are you planning on staying? Are you going to the South, West or North Rim? How long are you going for?

Thanks for sharing...

Glo


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5/27/2007 11:55:13 AM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  South Rim staying in Tusayan. Zion/Bryce staying in Springdale. Arches/Canyonlands staying in Moab. Have reservations for 3 nights at each location. Made the reservations about a month ago.
I live in Tacoma WA, and plan on taking 4 days to get to the Grand Canyon. Following Hwy 101 down the Oregon coast then cutting across to Reno, then Vegas, then Phoenix , then north... :-)
Good thing I enjoy driving, eh?
Bob


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5/27/2007 12:03:21 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Oh, and you might consider buying a National Parks pass. They're like $80, good for a year and will get you into all the national parks....


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5/27/2007 12:06:31 PM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Wow! Thanks Bob!

I figured I would fly in somewhere and rent a car to get around. I was only planning on staying a week, based on your research, could I still fit that all in?

Much appreciated!
Glo


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5/27/2007 12:10:13 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  You could, indeed, fit it all in. If you plan on NOT sleeping.. :-)
From what I've read, the South rim of the Grand Canyon is the tourist spot.. :-( ... which is where we will be. The north rim is less travelled/visited (comparatively). If you have time, you might want to check out www.photographamerica.com . I ordered a couple past newsletters about the southwest area...even a couple about my part of the world. They are super!!!!


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5/27/2007 2:13:15 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   The North Rim is comtrolled by a Native American reservation, and they charge their own entrance fees and the like. They also have the recently-opened glass walkway that goes out over the canyon.


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5/27/2007 3:32:33 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  I've read about that, Stephanie, in our local paper. 80 or 90 bucks just for entrance to tribal land and walking on the glass!!!

Bob


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5/27/2007 3:47:35 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Moab, Utah is where Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are both located and I can tell you first hand it’s a photographer’s Mecca! I spent eight days there last April and will be returning this October to complete a magazine assignment. There is so much photographic opportunity that you could stay a month and still not capture all of the opportunities.

E-mail me and I can turn you on to a friend of mine who runs a photo tour company there and I have some great contacts for lodging as well. Feel free to contact me here for any additional info.

Ray


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5/27/2007 5:47:54 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Definately consider Arches and Bryce Canyon.
Another interesting and little known photo hot spot is Coral and Pink Sand Dune State Park in southern Utah.

I toured the southwest in January 2005. You can see many images of the region Here.

Bob


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5/27/2007 6:58:48 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Thanks, Ray and Bob!
I have all the gear/storage for a couple week trip. Do you think I'll need any filters besides a circular polarizer??? Considering that I'll also be doing all the tourist stuff?
Bob


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5/27/2007 7:23:07 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Wow, Moab in July! Be careful, it will be hot. If you are going to shoot morning and evening shots, then a graduated ND filter set really helps.

If you are lucky to be there after a night rain there is a nice place to catch some reflecting pools in Arches National Park. They will be near the entrance after you drive to the top of the ridge. Just before the rocks called "Courthouse Towers" on the left you will see what looks to be a large open area which is all flat rock. Pull off one off the parking areas and walk out on the rocks just about east. You need to walk out a bit because at pre-dawn you can't see the pools from the road. You will soon see reflecting pools all over the place. Set your tripod low next to a pool and when the sun comes up you will catch some great shots of the rocks reflecting in the pool along with some spectacular color.

Have fun!

Ray


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5/27/2007 8:25:10 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  I loved Monument Valley, which is on the border of AZ and UT. And you can't beat Moab and the National Parks of UT.


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5/27/2007 9:33:17 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Bob C. (the other one),
Definately consider some type of protection filter(s) for your lenses (or keep your lens cap on) if you plan to hike in to remote spots.
Raymond is correct that summer in the desert S.W. can be brutal.
Hot, gusty winds may be prevelent during the daylight hours.
Early and late in the day will be calmer and probably a lot less crowded.

Gloria,
As far as accommodations go,...
you MUST stay at Best Western/Ruby's Inn if you plan to experience the magnificent splendor of Bryce Canyon at daybreak.
The ammenities this virtual "city" of hospititality offers seems almost endless...and you will wake with only a few minute drive to the rim of the Canyon.

Bob


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5/28/2007 4:26:15 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Check out http://www.outdoorphotoop.com/ for great spots.

Ariel
ScrattyPhotography Blog


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5/28/2007 4:37:15 PM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Wow, I am overwhelmed. Thank you Stephanie, Bob, Raymond, Ariel and all for your wonderful suggestions!

By the sounds of all your advice, I am leaning towards lower UT and upper AZ pocket for my vacation. Thanks Bob for the link to Ruby's Inn - it seems like it has everything I could want including horseback riding! Yippee! If I choose to stay there, do you know approx. how far it may be to all the locations mentioned by the other above?

Thanks to you Raymond for the camera tips. I guess I will have to add the grad ND filter to my list as well as a circular polarizer I'm sure. Anyone know where I can get those in 77mm that won't kill me???? LOL

I've also heard that taking a 7-10 day bus tour from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Page, etc. is available. Does anyone have any experience or opinion (yeah or nay) about that option other that having to stick to a schedule?

Thanks again all for your help and suggestions, I'm absorbing as much as I can. Looks like I have a lot of planning and deciding to do. Maybe I'll have to extend my vacation from 7 to 10 days by the sounds of it! LOL

Your opinions really matter! Thanks!

Gloria
Your Canuck BP Compadre!


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5/28/2007 5:01:52 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Link to map of region


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5/28/2007 6:03:58 PM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Thanks Bob for the link! You are such a great help!

Gloria


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5/28/2007 6:06:55 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Look into Antelope Canyon, I've never been there, but the pictures I've seen are beautiful and it's in that area.


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5/29/2007 4:13:40 AM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Thanks Stephanie! Antelope Canyon is definitely one of the places I want to visit!


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5/29/2007 5:50:03 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  The reason I know so much about Ruby's is that I actually stayed there on my way toward Bryce Canyon a few winters ago and was so impressed at the services they offer the traveling photographer and/or vacationer.
I definately plan to visit that picturesque region of southern Utah again (perhaps this January) and will likely use this facility as my "home base" for at least a few nights.

Bob


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5/29/2007 1:52:47 PM

 
Gloria Pidwerbecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Thanks Bob! I did check out the website and you are absolutely right. It seems like just the place for my base camp.


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5/29/2007 2:27:59 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  My suggestion is... SLC to Green River, over to Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, down to Monument Valley over to Four Corners, Cortez, Durango, thru Purgatory, Telluride, Silverton, Onray, Grand Junction back over to SLC. You will see lots and lots of red rock, blue skys, vast open areas, Navaho Reservations, green hills, mines, trains, San Juan Mountians, mountian meadows, beaver ponds. One of the most beautiful routes in the west. Doesn't get much better than that. I live in Utah and do this trip once every few years. Stay in Moab, Durango, Grand Junction. Have a fun trip where every you go!


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5/30/2007 6:09:19 PM

 
Dreaded Critic   Gloria
When flying over the Grand canyon in a helicopter, the pilot will stop in midair, when you lean out to the side to take your photo, be careful not to fall out, in case you do, I hope you will be considerate enough to snap a few nice photos during your free fall. and protect that camera so we all can enjoy your photos last photos, you don't have to thank me for this valuble information.


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6/1/2007 2:56:59 AM

 
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