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Inspiration.

 

nspiration. In June of this year, I wandered over to Bryce Canyon on a clear night. I typically avoid Bryce like the plague as it has long been overrun by noobs of the highest order. Those unaccustomed to sharing the night with those of us that prefer it to be dark.

Trained to use light in the most indiscriminate way. Without asking or even being aware that many of us are gathered here exactly because it is dark. I initially stopped by Sunrise Point to see if by some miracle, it being a Tuesday, there was less than a throng there. No such luck. So I began to check other locations and stumbled across Inspiration Point which only had 4-5 cars parked there. OK 5-6 other people could be workable where 30-40 was not. So I climbed out of Jimmy to go and see the situation. I found one gal by herself struggling with woefully inadequate equipment and a pair of other shooters with a pair of high-intensity LED floodlights shining down on the hoodoos below.

I asked them how long they would be shooting for and they glanced at each other then stared back silently at me. So I asked what they were shooting, timelapse, panorama or what? They said a panorama, to which I asked how many panels and they said four. So I thought ok I’ll give them some time and went to check on the struggling photographer. She was using a camera and lens not suitable for the task at hand. I asked if she had a blank memory card and she said she did.

I went back to Jimmy and got my backpack and a tripod. I headed back up and stopped at the young lady trying to get a photo for her friend’s wedding. I pulled out my backup 6D and a 24mm lens and told her to give me the memory card, inserted it and put the rig on her tripod. She was stunned at the result and hurried tried taking many more images.

Meanwhile about 45 minutes had passed and I walked up to check on the four image panorama to see when it would be done. They said about another hour. I might mention at this point I had been here earlier and had marked a spot very near where they were for my panorama. Not feeling particularly charitable after hearing their reply, I made several comments that could have been interpreted in a way that may or may not have implied I had previously thrown people with flashlights off of cliffs.

So after a couple of minutes of awkward silence, they took their lights and moved to a new location out of my line of sight. It would have been easier just to turn off their lights but apparently they had no desire to do so.

Finally, after nearly two hours of waiting, I was set up. While this had been going on I could see in the distance the spectacle at Sunset Point. Flashlights with incredible intensities were panning the hoodoos and lighting them as bright as daylight out to 1/2 mile away. Flashlights and cars were lighting up the point so brightly I am sure the International Space Station saw it. How utterly sad was that?

I completed the shot then tried another location before giving up for the night. Tuesday had not been the savior I had hoped for.

Also notice the glow of the town of Torrey dead ahead.

Specs: Canon 6D, 42 images 55mm f1.6 ISO 6400.

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