Thursday, October 10, 2013
What a crazy day! The weather was all over the place which made for some great dynamic conditions- perfect for photography! My camera sure got a workout today. It started out by raining all night. My tent kept me dry and the rain actually stopped when my alarm went off so I could get up and photograph the sunrise. I hopped in my Jeep and drove up the Sand Flats Road to the Castle Valley Overlook but the sunrise never happened. It was just too cloudy and another storm rolled in while I was up there.
A view of the La Sal Mountains before another storm rolled in and completely blocked the view.
Over the Edge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
As I was driving back down towards Sand Flats it started raining hard again so I went into town and had some breakfast at the Moab Diner.
Low clouds hang above yellow cottonwoods in the upper reaches of Rill Creek as I drove back to town.
Under the Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
When I finished my breakfast the rain finally started to let up, so I decided to follow the River Road in search of waterfalls since it had been raining pretty hard. I found plenty of them…
Courthouse Falls by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Temporary Fall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Tall Fall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
As I was driving back towards town I caught a glimpse of what looked like a very nice waterfall, but it was hard to tell from the road. I decided it was worth checking out, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and started hiking. I’m glad that I did!
Hidden Waterfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
I climbed up higher for a different view.
Desert Oasis by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
This waterfall was located just below the previous one.
Lower Waterfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Before heading back towards town I made a short detour to the entrance of Arches. I figured I should at least get a photo of the barricaded entrance while it was closed since I had never seen that before…
Welcome to Arches by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
While driving down Main Street Moab I looked up and saw that the La Sal Mountains were still hidden in clouds and figured with all the rain down in the valley that there might be a good amount of snow up in the mountains. And if I was lucky there might even be some fall colors around, so I continued south to the Loop Road.
This lone tree in the field stuck out to me as I started climbing the Loop Road.
Lone Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
There was still a lot of green down at the lower elevations with touches of changing colors.
Change by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
As I climbed higher the snow got deeper and I managed to find some yellow aspens.
Yellow, Green & White by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Fall Meets Winter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
There was some great scenery along Geyser Pass Road.
Touch of Winter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Leaves by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Geyser Pass Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Another lone tree that caught my eye…looking down towards the Moab Valley.
Lone by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
There were nice autumn colors where the road crossed Mill Creek.
Creeping by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
La Sal Loop Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
When I reached Mason Draw I had an expansive view of Castle Valley and this low cloud sort of made the Castleton Tower look like a chimney.
Chimney by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
The amazingly vibrant colors of the Pinhook Valley never disappoint. This area burned a few years back and since then there has been an amazing display of colors here in the fall.
Patches of Color by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Pinhook Color by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
The Dance by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Pinhook Colors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Another view of the Castleton Tower from Pinhook Valley.
Burn View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Every now and then I had a good view over into Arches National Park, too.
Arches in the Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Since the sunrise at the Castle Valley overlook was pretty much a bust, I thought I would check it out again in this constantly changing weather.
Sandstone & Mountains by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Spotlight on Castleton Tower.
Castle Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Shortly after arriving back at the overlook this faint rainbow appeared in front of Adobe Mesa.
Cliff Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Cloudy view down Porcupine Rim.
Porcupine Rim by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
After hanging out at the overlook for a little while another storm rolled back in over Round Mountain and Castle Valley.
In the Rain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Castleton Tower Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Soon it started hailing and raining on me so I got back in my Jeep and considered leaving and going somewhere else. But something stopped me. Even though it was windy and pouring, I decided to stick around and see what would happen. I am so glad that I did, because once that storm passed, the sun came out again through breaks in the clouds and created a rainbow.
Rainbow Below by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Here’s the amazing thing, a few more storms rolled through the area while I was up there. Each time it started to rain I would take shelter in my Jeep and wait it out. When it would blow over I would hop of out my Jeep again ready to take photos. This must have happened five or six different times and each time there was a new rainbow over Castle Valley and Pinhook Valley. I’ve never seen so many rainbows in one day! It was awesome!
Castle Valley Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Double Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Pinhook Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Little Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
The dynamic weather also created some beautiful spotlighting.
Castle Valley Overlook by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Another Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
After sticking around at the overlook for much longer than I had originally planned I finally started driving back down the Sand Flats Road towards town so I could meet up with some friends.
There was still nice light on the sandstone fins and domes as I drove back down.
Sandstone Dome by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
I took one last detour before reaching town so I could try and catch the sunset from near Mill Creek Canyon.
I didn’t find a good view of the sunset on the La Sal Mountains as I had hoped, but I turned around and caught these sun rays filtering down through the Moab Rim.
Moab Rim Rays by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Oh yeah! I even caught one last rainbow as I made it back to my Jeep.
Mill Creek Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
This definitely turned out to be a day I will not soon forget 🙂
Awesome stuff! I especially like Lone Tree.
Some really spectacular shots—Outdoor Photographer cover material.
Scrolling through the blog, it is fun to see how your photography
and eye for composition improve over time. Being in the right place
at the right time is important, but knowing that you are in the right
place at the right time is critical to high end outdoor photography. I would be curious
to know what your camera/lens matchup was for some of these.
Very nice work.
Thanks Paul. Most of my recent images were taken with a Canon 6D and a 24-105mm lens. I also use the 16-35mm and 100-400mm lens.
What software are using for color corrections? And are you shooting bracketing and converting to HDR somewhat?
All my photos are just a single RAW file. I rarely ever bracket (most of my shots are handheld, too). I develop them in Adobe Camera Raw/Photoshop
castle valley rainbow is an outstanding image with great depth and color. hope you post on 500px again.
These are some of the most beautiful images I have ever seen! What an incredible day indeed! And masterfully captured!