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Advice on photo locations near Las Vegas

Anis Abdul , Jun 23, 2006; 12:26 p.m.


My friend and I are planning a photography trip near the las vegas area this july 4th weekend.

Here is the locations we are planning to cover over a span of 5 days.

1. Bryce National Park (and cover Yovimpa and Rainbow Point ) 2. Arches National Park (will try to cover Moab Fault, The Three Gossips, Sheep Rock, The Great Wall, Turret Arch, The Spectacles, Double Arch, Cache Valley, Wolfe Ranch, Double O Arch, Landscape Arch ) 3. Monument Valley 4. Antelope canyon (with noon time tour) 5. Death Balley

Equipment: I will take : Nikon D70, 18-70mm DX, 50mm f/1.4, 300mm f/4 with 1.4 TC and 4 Gig CF with laptop to transfer My friend will have : Canon 20D, Canon 17-40mm f4 L, Canon 70-200mm f4 L, Canon 50mm f/1.8, 4 gig CF

Is there any spots/locations we should consider as we picked these from various guide books etc? Also, is there any special precautions (heat, critters) we should consider?

We hope to time the travel to be in these places before sunrise and sunset time frame.

Thanks in advance. Any reply appreciated.

Regards Anis


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Laurie M , Jun 23, 2006; 12:33 p.m.


You have more than enough for 5 days of shooting. I spent 5 days in Death Valley alone and it wasn't enough time. I'd shorten rather than lengthen the list. It's going to be very hot in some of those locations. Drink/take plenty of water. Some alternate locations very near Las Vegas include Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire but your plate is already too full.

Anis Abdul , Jun 23, 2006; 12:38 p.m.

Thank you laurie, we will be willing to change the schedule (we have currently booked motels near each of those locations) to accomodate change based on advice. We figured that most of the good pics are going to be either sunrise or sunset timeframe. so all our travel is planned based on the sunrise/sunset times of those location.

Here is a travalogue of that location by a photographer which we used as a template. http://www.mit.edu/~cai/photo/SWlog.html

Suman L , Jun 23, 2006; 12:51 p.m.

Yep. You just packed too much for 5 days. Arches itself is so astonishing that I could have spent 5 days right there. I think you should reserve at least two days for arches, for the special sunrise/sunset momemnt shots over the arches. Spend a day at Zion and another at Bryce. That leaves only one day in hand and you can use it for Anetelop canyon. However, I don't know how you can manage that, since Arches is on far east Utah, Bryce/Zion is on far south-west and Antelope is on south-east. So be ready for a hectic driving. Otherwise, skip Bryce/Zion.

Thomas Beaman , Jun 23, 2006; 12:59 p.m.

If you only have 5 days and are based out of Las Vegas I would skip Arches. Drive time to and from will take up a lot of your time (but it is a pretty drive) I would stick closer to Vegas and spend more time taking photos. I would hit up Zion, Bryce, North Rim of the Grand Canyon and your Antelope tour. The crappy things about the southwest right now (besides the heat) are the fires/smoke. Bring more water than you imagine needing no matter where you go. We are going to hit 112 in Vegas this weekend (110 today) and Death Valley is going to be 124. I would not even consider a trip there in the summer.....it's just to hot and not really worth risking your health. Have a great trip

Laurie M , Jun 23, 2006; 01:03 p.m.

The problem with your intenrary is that you've left no time to really "see" a place. Rushing from point A to point B and shooting from the same overlooks and viewpoints as everyone else just isn't doing any of these wonderous parks justice. Of course, everyone has a different style and different preferences. For me, it usually takes about three days in a place before I feel like I "know" it well enough to take meaningful photos. I think you'll regret not giving yourself time to see more of these locations. There's much more than just the turnouts and scenic overlooks to shoot. Also, it's nice to get away from the tour groups and crowds. Somehow standing alone, or with only a friend, on the edge of a canyon is so much more appealing than leaning, shoulder to shoulder over a guard rail with the sound of the tour bus engine in the background.

Jeff H. , Jun 23, 2006; 02:14 p.m.

Hoover Dam is nice, if you are in to that sort of landscape! Carry lots of water and hydrate frequently. Have fun!

Jim Stamates , Jun 23, 2006; 05:59 p.m.

I agree with others, way too much to do in 5 days. But I would consider doing the loop from Arches, Canyonlands, south to Natural Bridges, then north to Capitol Reef, Hogs Back, possibly Calf Creek Falls, then back to Hwy 70 and home. (there are a couple of neat places before Natural Bridges that are spectacular, another horeshoe bend overlook, and little monument valley)

There are 4 maps of Utah broken into the 4 quadrants. NW, NE, SW, SE. Get the SE for sure and maybe the SW. You will have the time of your life in just those areas. and don't forget...water, water, water. and did I mention WATER!

Bob Bernardo - LA area disabled , Jun 24, 2006; 02:53 a.m.

Most of the areas you want to see are really beautiful, but the best time to photogragh them is at sunrise and sunset, not during the day. If you go to Death Valley be ready for temps above 115 degrees. It's nasty there right now.

Bob Bernardo - LA area disabled , Jun 24, 2006; 02:59 a.m.

Just read the weather for Death Valley, 122 degrees today. Ug! Also, keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms. It's a little early in the season, but it could happen. Needless to say you can get some amazing storm images.

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