Archive for December, 2008
I woak up one morning of Dec 16 and looked through my window…”snow”. Wait a minute!!! I was half awake half assleep….I went to wash my face then I looked through my window again. Wow!!! that is really snowing…Yes I know some of you may think I am going crazy here, but I am in LAS VEGAS the land which at least 300 days a year of a sunny day. Snow gets me exciting…It is Tuesday and I had to be at work at 2 pm. I had got 2 hours before I had to work. Showering and put my cameras in the car and took off for my play ground, Red Rock Canyon. While I was driving in, I couldn’t see anything half a mile ahead of me…..AWESOME!!! I looooooooooove it. I was so excited. There were many people, cars on the road along the way there, see!!! we all got excitied here from a snow. Lot of kids playing along side the road. I tryed to get away from a place which was used by many people. So I drove deeper in the canyon. A lot more of snow and less people. I have not seen much of snow as this before since I moved here in 2001. Some people said that this is a lot like 10 years ago. This time we had hit by snow here for 3 days . It was almost a foot deep on Tuesday when I was out!!! I love snow because it change the way things look. I paid attention to the area of fire burning 2 years ago which was happen by lightning in summer. The area looks dry and less interesting while there is nothing going on, but now I have a foot of snow on it. Amazing!!!
Well, I went to work LATE as usual. I am worry a little that someday I might not have a job haha. I manged to use all my cameras 6×6 is most use with B&W film. 6×17 is the second used on B&W films also. The photos were made handhold becuase I can move faster under a wet condition. Both were wet and I left them in my car while I went to work. An 8×10 was fun because I was totally wet from the snow. It was 35’f that’s why the snow was melt too fast. Anyway, I am glad I did shoot with the 8×10. There was only one composition which worked at it.
I was lucky because I requestd days off from work 2 weeks ago. I thought that it will be slow at work anyway. Therefore I love to go out. I was lucky because of the storm coming to my way. I went home after work on Tuesday after midnignt and loading my car for a road trip up to Utah and Arizona for 4 days. It is sound even more crazy to you I know GOING INTO A STORM!!!, but that is the way I work. The more bad a storm can be is the more chance for me to make remarkable imags for my collection. Last year when I went to Jackson Wyoming, I wasn’t prepare enough so I had a little hard time fighting with a morning cold weather which I woak up at 4:30 am for sunrise everyday while I was there, 5 days. It was -5’f min every morning. I was frozed!!! Hahaha this time I was prepare so I have a snowbord boot, a mask, snowbord pants…I am good.
I left Vegas around 3 am and headed up to Zion natinal park. I got to the park about 6:30 am. It was cloudy and snowing. I actually had plan to be in Zion just in the morning then move a long on High89 to Bryce and then High 12 to I-70 then spending a night at Moab, Utah. It wasn’t like what I thought becuase above Zion and the way to High 89 was snon in almost 2 feet deep. I talked to a park ranger in Zion and she told me to wait a few hours for them to clean up the road. So I didn’t think I have a plan any more. That was great ” the best plan is no plan I believe “. I decided to drive up into a canyon. I never had any experince which I have to put 4×4 driving inside Zion. The was the first time since I started to visit here over 6 years. It was not too bad because I used to drive like that. My car just slide left then right time to time. It was kind of fun in a way. I finally was at the Zion lodge. The gate was close from here. I parked my car then head out to explore. I had gotten my mask on, my boot on, my glove on, and my cameras on my back. It was so pretty with fresh snow still on the trees, and the cold weather. It was windy and snowing, but I headed out to make my images anyway…
Now it was about almost 4 pm, sunset at 4:30 pm. It was snowing harder and I didn’t believe that I would be able to travel throgh the routh I plan to do so. Therefore, I headed out from Zion to I-15 north then to I-70 to Moab. I stoped at a chiness restaurant on I-15 right before I-70 about 25 miles. It was great food from what you pay for. I had wontan soup and beef with black bean sauce…yum. Now I was full and getting sleepy hahaha, but I had about 200 miles to do on a windy, foggy and dark road for the rest on my driving that night. I finally taken myself to Moab at around midnight. Everything was close!!!! My favorite, Big Horn Lodge, motel was close because of late night. I toped my tank and decided to drive up to Mesa Arch at Canyon Land National park for sunrise because I would not want to spend $70 to sleep at Best Western for only 3 hours of sleep then I will go for sunrise anyway. I was supper tired, but that was best decision I can have so I was driving again. It was almost 50 miles away from Moab. Finally, I got to sleep in my seat at about 2 am. I woak up time to time till I had to get up at 5 am to get ready for a little hike to the Arch. Here I had my snowbord boot on…cool because I now felt my feet haha. It was almost 0’f or maybe lower I couldn’t remember. All I knew was it was cold and windy. The sky started to turn blue, but there were lot of clouds. I hoped that there was a little clear sky between the horizon just enough to let the sun out for a little. It was and it only last lest than 10 mins before the sun went right in behind the cloud.
I only made 2 shots. One was B&W and an another was color. Both were shot by a Linhof 6×17 SIII with my 90 mm lens. DONE!!! that was it!!! All my afford to get myself to be here, and that was it!!! The sun has quit on me too early. Well, I was only dream that it should be longer. I left Mesa arch sadly. Meantime I was sleepy, tired, cold, and could not think of anything else anymore… but I was in the area of Canyon Land then I really like to check out other close spots for my future plans. I went to a Green river over look and a Grand view over look. Both were magical places to witness by you own eyes, and I bet you that you would never seen anything like it before. It is a grand. It is huge, big, and really beautiful. Just to stand and look out from there was already made me feel happy. I had been here once in 2005 when I made my ” Daybreak ” image at the Grand View Overlook. You can see it from my website which is the first one on Light Land and Love link. Well, It was almost 9 am I was hungry, sleepy still, but I had to drive back 50 miles to check in the motel. It was cheapest in town and I really recormend to everyone if you happen to be in Moab a few days. One room for $42, 39 plus tax, /night it is good place to sleep and get clean up. I hit the bed after eating my food and shower. I went out like a light!!! I woak up almost sunset, 3:30 pm. I got up and had a drive up to Arches National part which about 15 mins away from Moab. The sun was already set and I was enjoy the glow of it at those RED rocks. I went to the blance rock, the arch windows. I was lazy so I viewed those rock from my car, happy. It was really windy and cold that was why. I know that if I catch the right light at Arches, it would be the awesome show of light because those rocks are really turn RED when it was bath by a last light of the day. I saw it once 3 years ago, Amazing.
Ok, it got or dark and cold now also I gotten hungry. There is a new open Thai restaurant( Singh restaurant), what a surprise!!!, It has been open for a year now. I got the info about it from my motel. I went to check it out, and not too surprise why they do good. While other restaurant is not full of customers, but this place was packed!!! When it is cold, a warm soup is a must. I also got some beef salad, yum yum. Well, it was good both food and the price, not expensive as some of Thai restaurant I know of, food wasn’t good nither. I can’t tell you where, but there are some. So now I was full and happy so I went to top my tank again for the morning shot at the Gream River overlook, Canyonland. Yes 50 miles away again one way. THat’s why I keep saying that this is a labor of LOVE. Me too who don’t want to leave a warm bed at too early in the morning like that, but I came to do this so there is no complain ;_^ Well, I could not sleep because of I used to stay up and working till late everyday on my working days. Finally, I went to sleep at midnight, and I got up at 4:00 am to leave for CANYON LAND.
It was cloudy and cold, but luckly no wind, YEAH!!!. I went to see how it was like at Mesa arch first, but knowing that the cloud was blocking the first light from the sun. So there is no point to hike in there. I left while the sun wasn’t up yet and drove up higher to see is there any other options….NONE. Well, I came this far and there is nothing to lose so I decided to go hang out to see the view of the Grean River overlook. It was nice because the view point is not far from a parking spot. So I took all my cameras with me. I can tell you that it was FREEZING !!! at the clift. I experinced the calm and quiet…really peaceful beside the COLD hahaha. These images below were taken while the light was changing…
It was great to be there in that morning, unexpected that good. What I am trying to say here is eventhough everything doesn’t go on your plan, but there is always something else which will lead you on. I went back to town and checked out. Then I went for lunch at the thai restaurant again before heading out to Monument Valley.
It was a nice drive. The view was coverd by snow on both side road. It was white everywhere. Really pretty. I came through this area once at night so I didn’t know of what I missed out. It is about 100 miles south on high 191 and right on high 163. This will lead you right to Monument Valley. You won’t miss that for sure because it is HUGE red stone stuck in the middle of no where which you can see 40-50 miles away. I stoped to enjoy view from a distence the rock.
I played here for a while then I went on the road to Monument Valley, 18 more miles from here. I was continuted to be inspired by the rocks. I had an wow!!! on the left, on the right, to myself many times. You must see it by your eyes to see what I mean. I always don’t have much feeling of Monument Valley, but while I was there I could not stop looking. It is winter now so the direction of the sun is different than summer. The sun set way far left from the sunset in summer. I revisit my old spot which I made the image of ” West homes ” in 2006
It is different, isn’t it? The direction of the light will do a lot to our photography. I continuted to drive into the Monument Valley most famous view, I had not much of time to explore more inside of it. I was kind of telling myself to slow down a little from what I had done till then. I still have 400 miles to get myself back home before I had to work at 2pm the next day. It was nice to meet and chat with photographers. Everyone has different story to share to us. I like that. So I was just kind of hang out and watch the light. I snaped a few shots here and there for fun…
Finally, my trip was completed. I had a great time with the cold and snow. I wish we get that often!!!, but not too often haha. I headed back home safely about 6 am in the morning because I had to park and sleep 2 times. I was really tired, but at the same time I was greatful and happy from what I had done…At 2 pm on Sunday my normal life began again….. it is WORKING time!!! I am dreaming to get out again soon…
Thank you for the land, still and always be a place to inspire me on my work. Thank you for people, photographers, local indian people, a friendship from thai restaurant ( great food keeps me going ), a Big Horn Lodge for saving my soul when it was cold out, My car( my little assistance ) for taking me tiredless to everywhere I dream to be…..this is an another life story of mine…
Thank you to all for your time to read till this far. I wish you enjoy and get something out of it…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all
This image is 1st place for this year Red Rock photo contest. All the winning images now are displaying at Red Rock Canyon visitor center near Las Vegas. Red Rock Canyon is a BLM land which is located on the western of Las Vegas valley. It is a closest place for visiting beside casinos. Most of visitors are from everywhere in the world. There are about 3 millions visitors/ year coming to enjoy this place. It is a 13 miles easy loop drive and there are many trails to explore.
I have been documenting RR for more than 6 years now. I have a great amount of images from around RR. My favorite time to visit is when we have a storm coming in. Right after work around midnight I always look up to the sky to try to see if there is any opportunity for the sunrise. If it is so I will hang out and wait for time to go RR. I usually give myself a very good amount of time for hiking to my spots which I knew from before of where it is before the sun is up. Anyway, there were still be time which I raced with myself with the sun…That is a fun part while I was asking myself as I ran and setting up my camera…AM I GONNA MAKE IT ? Somehow, I managed it to make it happen. Most of time I say I was lucky. In the morning while I was out at RR. I felt so great because it was nice weather, so quiet, and the fresh air…eventhough I was sleepy. If you like to see me at work, please come to RR during the stormy weather. You might see me there.
I photographed this image with KB Canham DLC 4×5 large format camera. 72 mm lens and 3 ND filter to hold back the brightness on the sky, because the light volume between a foreground and the sky were much different than an ability of my film to record it perfectly. The filter helped bringing the light volume in the sky down by 3 stop. Kodak 100VS sheet film . During this storm I revisited this spot many morning and I photographed it every morning. This image was one of a good one this year.