Travel: Snow Canyon State Park – St. George, Utah

45060301945_54e433e5fe_z

Crevasse Tree – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Earlier this week my family and I traveled to southern Utah. One place that we visited was Snow Canyon State Park, which sits just outside of St. George. This place was new to us. I saw it on a map and thought it might be interesting, so we went. I knew nothing about Snow Canyon State Park other than how to get there. I didn’t have any expectations, but if I did they would have been blown away. This is a really neat state park!

Despite the name, Snow Canyon doesn’t receive much snow. It was named after the Snow family, who were early settlers to the area. The park features beautiful red sandstone, petrified sand dunes, a couple of small arches and different lava formations. It’s a place that begs to be explored. It’s a great location for hiking, camping and rock climbing–oh, and definitely photography!

We arrived about 30 minutes before sunset and stayed for about 15 minutes after. We didn’t have a long visit, which is a shame because it seems like an awesome park! In the short time that we were there we had a lot of fun. The kids ran around and explored as much as they could. From what I can tell the park has a lot to offer, including some large lava tubes that would have been fun to find. I didn’t know about the lava tubes until after we left, so we’ll have to find them the next time that we visit.

There are most certainly some great photographic opportunities in Snow Canyon. The place has something worthy of your camera’s attention at every turn! The quintessential red rocks of the region and the unusual land formations create the potential for great images. I was there for less than an hour and created the pictures in this article, which were captured using a Fujifilm X-T20. Zion National Park, which isn’t far away, get’s a lot of attention, but Snow Canyon State Park shouldn’t be overlooked! It is definitely worth your time to see.

Color

44162426350_747edc7824_z

Last Light On The Cliffs – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45922985222_8c980c492b_z

Cliff Hanger – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45254275454_6efd9fde4a_z

Petrified Sand Dune – Snow Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

32107698658_b20591cffe_z

Overcoming Adversity – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

44155883880_33a150cfa9_z

Crevasse Tree in Color – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fuji X-T20

32108302238_0f6d935c1d_z

Autumn Tree – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

32108301838_267032e4e5_z

Autumn Tree In Snow Canyon – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45066441255_be3502ce2a_z

Exploring Kids – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45979059021_fc43303d6f_z

Moon Over The Rocky Ridge – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

B&W:

45066557915_2e88da83ff_z

Rock Hills – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

31039616647_28ab6168d7_z

Monochrome Moon, Snow Canyon – Snow Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45254221364_ddcaa426d4_z

Using A Phone Because I Had Her Camera – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

32107512278_1529844f7f_z

Small Arch In Monochrome – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45066441785_7abbdf318e_z

Wood In The Sand – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45978300801_96c1612503_z

Window Rock Joy – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45254946164_5a47a2ec7a_z

Alone At The Top – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

45929931742_4e388c5af7_z

Monochrome Moonrise – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fuji X-T20

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 3: Fujifilm X100F

27675827098_d30c485cf1_z

Great Salt Lake & Wasatch Range – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifiom X100F

Part 1 – Fujifilm X-E1  Part 2 – Fujifilm X-A3  

Antelope Island State Park is a special place, but I think it is especially wonderful near sunset. That’s when the rather ordinary rocks reflect the sun’s colors, becoming vivid and rich. It’s when you can really appreciate the reflections in the typically smooth water. The crowds leave and everything becomes peaceful. It is, hands down, the best place in Utah to experience the setting sun.

A visit to Antelope Island is like a taking a vacation. It’s stepping into another place, even though, for me, it’s only a short drive. It’s like travelling without all of the travelling. It’s a quick one-day staycation, if you will, but I always feel rejuvenated and more balanced when leaving.

The photographs in this article were all captured using a Fujifilm X100F. This camera is the perfect travel camera because it is small and lightweight enough to fit into a large pocket and it’s never in the way, yet it delivers exceptional image quality. A couple of these images received some very minor touch ups with Snapseed, but are otherwise all camera-made JPEGs using my different film simulation recipes.

27675723308_9df6b32cb0_z

Sunset Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737380580_f36fb6dbfa_z

Painted With Warm Light – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

41775412932_bdc5fee7b1_z

The Cracked Earth – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40834324344_591db2e567_z

Frary Peak Behind The Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737140670_16a24011f6_z

Light Around The Corner – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

26677091137_27cef93a5a_z

Sun, Stone & Water – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

41504760012_77b97241d5_z

Rocks Above The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

26677095327_b8677c9181_z

Lake From Lady Finger Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40652731375_71fa3dbc4b_z

An Antelope Island Evening – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27675871158_a8a894a8e7_z

Island Joy – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737238430_20617f9742_z

Warm Light Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737592620_a31be2968f_z

Sunset From Lady Finger Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27675836658_7f7d990e09_z

Dipping Sun – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40834542424_566c42e1ae_z

Three Gulls – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Part 4 coming soon!

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 2: Fujifilm X-A3

27697152858_030f07de63_z

Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

Part 1 – Fujifilm X-E1 

Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, who visited the Antelope Island in 1845, gave it its name after hunting pronghorn antelope. Daddy Stump and Fielding Garr would build homes on Antelope Island over the next few years. This is a place that people have been coming to for a long time. In fact, there is evidence that native people have spent time on the island since at least the time of Christ.

Something interesting that I’ve discovered since moving to the Salt Lake City area two years ago is that most people who grew up in Utah don’t visit Antelope Island. Maybe they went on a school field trip as a kid, but they haven’t been back since. The majority of people you find on the island are from out-of-town. The locals who do visit are often those that moved to the area from someplace else. It’s too bad for those who don’t make the short trip to the island because they’re really missing out.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-A3, which is Fujifilm’s inexpensive interchangeable-lens option. It shows that you don’t have to spend tons of money on gear to capture something good. Being someplace interesting with a camera is more important than what camera you have. With whatever photography gear you have, just get to somewhere photogenic and make some exposures! These are all camera-made JPEGs, and a few of them were lightly edited using Snapseed on my phone.

41567316451_922cf46d45_z

White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41526199752_607035301c_z

Bush In The Crag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567327631_c5d121a3b9_z

Promontory Through Weeds – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567309961_721b65af0b_z

Pyramid – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

26949445527_7f9fe32078_z

Coming Storm – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41816969021_25dfd105fe_z

One Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

27697234618_3644dc9f1e_z

Two Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40918649155_19ca934853_z

Rocky Hill & Cloudy Sky – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40010129310_2d4a5e9ef2_z

Rugged – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567262061_e86210c3e3_z

Early Spring At Buffalo Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

26698419917_8755572395_z

Green Bush Over Orange Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567233291_75bf4d6934_z

Rust Never Rests – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41775487532_8827c6d399_z

Forgotten Ranch Tool – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40010228340_95a57e82ec_z

Red Lamp – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41775392732_0510130373_z

Lonely Blossom – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40674126255_b1ece9f019_z

Sunset Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

39758563260_eb28d0653d_z

Little Wave of Big Color – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567097571_4626eae57b_z

Washed Up – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

39758550200_97362dae4a_z

A Great Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A5

Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 1: Fujifilm X-E1

32940277142_84d37dd88c_z

Bison In The Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River, the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere and the 33rd largest lake in the world. It’s massive! It can seem almost ocean-like, or perhaps more like a large ocean bay, but it is located far from any ocean. One difference between the Great Salt Lake and an ocean is that the lake is much saltier, and the only thing that lives in it is brine shrimp.

The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island, which is 15 miles long and five miles wide. The highest point, Frary Peak, is 6,594′, and is often snow-capped in the winter. It’s accessible by road via a causeway. Antelope Island is managed by the Utah State Park system.

Antelope Island seems like a world away from the Salt Lake City metro area, even though it is located very close to the city. It looks remote, and it must have been very remote before the road was built and the city grew. Interestingly enough, the oldest non-Native American structure in Utah is located on the island, an adobe ranch house built in 1848. The Fielding Garr Ranch was a working ranch from 1848 to 1981, and now the old ranch is open to the public for self-guided tours.

Wildlife abounds on Antelope Island, including buffalo, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep and many other animals. At one time it was believed that the bison herd on Antelope Island was the largest in America. There are a huge variety of birds that migrate across the area.

The water is often calm and the reflections can be incredible. There are sandy beaches. There are trails that curve across the rugged landscape. There is a unique beauty to Antelope Island that draws me back. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph. But it’s also disgusting! There’s a certain “rotten egg” smell that can be found near the shores. There are tons and tons of bugs, including biting no-see-ums, brine flies (that cover the shore like a thick cloud), mosquitoes, tons of spiders (venomous and non-venomous), among other things. It’s pretty common to see dead birds. There’s plenty to love and hate about this place. I try to look beyond the gross to see the beauty.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. It was my introduction to Fuji X cameras. I bought it used about two years ago and kept it for a year. I loved that camera and didn’t want to get rid of it, but I used the money from selling it to help pay for my Fujifilm X100F. Without the X-E1 this blog wouldn’t exist. Some of these photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, many of them are not and were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure and/or Nik Silver Efex.

Part 2 of this series will feature photographs captured at Antelope Island State Park using a Fujifilm X-A3. Part 3 will feature the X100F. And the final installment will feature the X-Pro2. Enjoy!

28670110532_0c097f43b1_z

Blue Umbrella At The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28148337494_813ea45290_z

The Vastness of the Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28660690832_70da1df0fb_z

Red Buffalo At The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28698187901_48fae54398_z

Boys Playing In The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28774936765_f2ed4ec756_z

Buffalo Hill – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32138607394_dbce1252b9_z

Area Closed For Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32294787913_0a64a6c845_z

Island Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32250862364_271ce9478d_z

Deer Statue – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32941884436_3dc614f5b9_z

Ice on Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32601497680_8491cc5360_z

Ice, Lake & Mountains – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32250803884_0aafa38fb0_z

Frary Peak Reflected – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32940237212_e482f81c66_z

Light Streaming Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32940235812_6a47760688_z

Wasatch Mountains From The Causeway – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32168112823_e7904c05f8_z

Old Salty Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Part 2 – Fujifilm X-A3  Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F  

Travel: Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

25786669377_25bf54cefa_z

Endless Canyons – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

The day after visiting Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah, I checked out Dead Horse Point State Park. It is located very close to the Island In The Sky district of Canyonlands and offers stunning views of the national park. It’s essentially a smaller Island In The Sky with some good views of the Colorado River.

The story behind the name is tragic. Early settlers used these “sky islands” as natural pens for livestock and other animals. Even the local Native Americans did this to an extent. Some early American settlers trapped a group of wild horses on the mesa that’s now the state park. They picked the mustangs that they wanted to tame, then left the others on the mesa to die of thirst. That’s why it’s called Dead Horse Point. My 10-year-old daughter loves horses, and she was particularly appalled at the story. That, of course, is just a brief dark period for this land, but the name stuck, even though it is a little grim.

Dead Horse Point State Park is breathtakingly beautiful! The views are stunning. For the most part, what you see is Canyonlands National Park, just from a little different angle. You actually get better views of the Colorado River here than on Island In The Sky. It’s surprising to me that this section isn’t included in the national park system.

If you have the choice between the two, definitely go for Canyonlands. If you have time for a little more, visit Dead Horse Point. On the way out from Moab on the way home, my family and I detoured to see the state park. It took us, from the time we left U.S. 191 to the time we returned, a total of three hours. We could have stayed much longer, but we were a little strapped for time.

Lighting was terrible for photography when I was at the state park. There was a thin high overcast layer of clouds that did just enough to make the light ugly. Also, I was there mid-morning, well past the golden hour. I used a Fujifilm X100F and Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens attached to capture these images. I edited the camera-made JPEGs using Nik Color Efex and Nik Silver Efex software, with the exception of two, which are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I would have preferred to rely just on the JPEGs unedited, but the light was just so ugly for photography while I was there that they needed some work to make them look decent.

I didn’t capture any great photographs while at Dead Horse Point State Park, but I definitely saw the potential. At the right time under the right light, the opportunity to capture some portfolio worthy images certainly exists at this place. I hope to return sometime in the near future to capture better photographs.

39870344134_536b27a407_z

The Dead Tree – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40615440202_799f8e0db4_z

Erode Down – Dead Horse Point State Park, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

38771699570_7b9bfbbb32_z

La Sal From Dead Horse Point – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39871375944_f01bbec16c_z

South Vista – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40663747711_f3a3a864cd_z

The River Bend – Dead Horse SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

26786295208_7db4439d16_z

Rock Temple – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

40657353091_b43ba321f3_z

A River Runs Through It – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

25786728117_3988a4747e_z

River Island – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

39953927994_7fcd9711b6_z

Cliff Above The Canyon – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

38853792890_9549ecc9ef_z

Hanging On – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40663743581_356b220441_z

Long Ways – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39768958685_34488a2fd4_z

It’s Not Easy Being Green – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40663758121_a3665d3c54_z

Desert West – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39947764434_a2b6ac5a7c_z

Red Desert Cliffs – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M