The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, Part 3: Trees

Part 1 – Water  Part 2 – Flowers  

Utah is a beautiful state with a diverse environment. There are snow-capped mountain peaks, green forests, extensive lakes, snaking rivers, vast red deserts and pretty much everything in-between. This photoessay series is intended to exhibit that diversity through my photographs, and each part will have a specific theme. This article, which is Part 3 of The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, is about trees.

When a lot of people think of Utah, they think of the red-rock deserts found in the southern part of the state. You might be surprised to learn that approximately 1/3 of Utah is forested. Many of these trees are found in the mountains of the northern region, but even the deserts can be dotted with Pinyon and Juniper. There are a wide range of trees found throughout the state. It shouldn’t be surprising that trees have found their way into my photographs many times, especially in the fall when their leaves turn autumn colors. I’ve noticed that the leaves are already beginning to change this year, so it’s time once again to find some vibrant trees to capture.

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Timpanogos September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F 9/29/2017

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Autumn Beginnings – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 9/3/2018

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Autumn Forest Trail – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 10/14/2018

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Provia 100F'

Vibrant Autumn Forest – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 11/20/2018

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Vibrant Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 10/13/2017

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Scattering of Red – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 9/28/2018

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Winter Forest Impression – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 12/27/2018

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Night At The Lake – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 8/6/2016

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Lake In The Uintas – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 9/4/2016

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Deadwood – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 3/30/2019

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Green Tree on Red Cliff – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 3/31/2019

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Monte Cristo Snow – Monte Cristo, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 10/16/2016

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Winter Saturday Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 2/16/2019

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 10/27/2017

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Feeling Blue – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 – 2/28/2018

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Canyon Pinyon – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 2/28/2018

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It’s Not Easy Being Green – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 3/1/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Kodak E 100G'

Yellow Tree Against Red Rock – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 11/20/2018

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Sunlight Through The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 9/13/2018

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The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, Part 2: Flowers

Part 1 – Water  Part 3 – Trees

Utah is a beautiful state with a diverse environment. There are snow-capped mountain peaks, green forests, extensive lakes, snaking rivers, vast red deserts and pretty much everything in-between. This photoessay series is intended to exhibit that diversity through my photographs, and each part will have a specific theme. This article, which is Part 2 of The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, is about flowers.

For some people, flower photography is the bread and butter of what they do. I’ve never considered myself a flower photographer, but in the spring and summer when there are beautiful blossoms all around, it’s hard not to find it an interesting subject for the camera. Utah seems like an especially good place to capture the blooming beauty, as there are many lush flower gardens and plentiful wildflowers to choose from, including sometimes one’s own front or backyard.

Flowers:

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Vibrant Flowerbed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 4/29/2019

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Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Urban Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Summer Sun Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 7/10/2018

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At the Edge of the In-Between – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 5/28/2017

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Dark Rose Blossom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/13/2019

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Drops of Water on a Lily – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 7/2/2018

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Yellow Tipped Petal Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 6/22/2018

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Beeutiful – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 6/17/2018

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Purple Flower Petals – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 5/28/2017

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Purple Macro – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

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Bloom Purple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/1/2019

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Butterfly Bloom – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

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Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Tulip Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Tulips by the Creek – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Field of Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 4/29/2019

Stay tuned for Part 3!

The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, Part 1: Water

Utah is a beautiful state with a diverse environment. There are snow-capped mountain peaks, green forests, extensive lakes, snaking rivers, vast red deserts and pretty much everything in-between. This photoessay series is intended to exhibit that diversity through my photographs, and each part will have a specific theme. This article, which is Part 1 of The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, is about water.

Utah is the second driest state in America based on annual rainfall, but there are massive bodies of water and many miles of rivers. The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake and the sixth largest overall lake in America. Lake Powell, which is on the boarder of Utah and Arizona, is the 23rd largest lake in the country. Utah Lake is the 36th largest lake in America, and Bear Lake is the 47th largest. There are thousands of miles of rivers and streams throughout the state. Despite the lack of rainfall, there’s a surprisingly large amount of water in Utah, and it has been the subject of my photography numerous times.

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 12/26/2018

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Low Sun Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 3/11/2019

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Afterglow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 3/11/2019

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Blue Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/25/2019

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Blue Umbrella At The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 8/2/2016

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Salt Lake Water – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/25/2019

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East Canyon Reservoir – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/13/2019

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Logs In A Pond – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 7/18/2018

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Waterfall Into The Ogden River – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 7/1/2019

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White Duck – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 11/15/2018

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Kids At The Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 9/26/2018

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Virgin River From Canyon Junction – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 11/20/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Agfa Optima 200 Faded'

River Through Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 11/20/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Kodak Ektar 100'

Autumn Along The Virgin River – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 11/20/2018

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Virgin River In November – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 11/20/2018

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Winter Pond & Tree Trunk – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 1/19/2019

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Flaming Gorge – Flaming Gorge, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 7/13/2017

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Mirrored Mountain – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 9/4/2016

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Sunset Kayak – Willard Bay SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 6/13/2017

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Clouds At Night – Bear Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 9/17/2016

Part 2 – Flowers   Part 3 – Trees  

Antelope Island State Park In B&W

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Brush Strokes Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

The Great Salt Lake 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 brine shrimp are the only thing alive in it. It is one of Utah’s natural wonders!

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.

Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, who visited Antelope Island in 1845, gave it its name after hunting pronghorn antelope on the island. 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.

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 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.

Something interesting that I’ve discovered since moving to the Salt Lake City area almost three 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!

Antelope Island is incredibly beautiful and tranquil. It is indeed odd, and one has to purposefully look beyond the negative aspects of the place to truly appreciate it. I feel like it is a secret treasure that is easily overlooked, and I feel honored to have found it and photographed it.

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Frary Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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Island Beach View – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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

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

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Clouds Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Land & Lake Layers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Promontory Peninsula – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sunlight Falling On The Salty Water – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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

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

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

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

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Frozen Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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Cracked Earth – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Snow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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

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

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Pulling Hard – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Patrol – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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On The Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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State Park Workday – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Game – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leather Gloves – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Circle Hashtag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Fielding Garr Ranch Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Empty Marina – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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

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Pollution – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Photoessay: Cold Winter Daze

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Melting Ice – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

When I moved to Utah from California, one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was winter. Before California I lived in Arizona, so having temperatures below freezing and white fluffy stuff on the ground was something that I didn’t have much experience with. This is my third winter in Utah, and while I’m now a little acclimated, winter is not my favorite season whatsoever. In fact, I dread winter.

Even though I’d rather be warm and have long hours of seemingly endless sunshine with green fields and blossoming flowers, there is a certain beauty to the drabness of the cold season. Winter brings clouds, and an approaching or clearing storm can be incredibly dramatic. Those clouds blanket the entire landscape in pure white that sparkles like glitter when the sun finally shows. Winter is a transformation season, and while the days are short and the air is frigid, it’s a worthwhile time to capture pictures. This is the time to keep an especially watchful photographic eye on things, because the opportunities for interesting photographs abound, but they are fleeting, so one must be quick and ready.

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Frozen Lake – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Pond & Tree Trunk – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Wasatch Homes – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow On Red – Spanish Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Horse Coat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Equestrian Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Red Tractor In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Removal – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Too Cold For Basketball – South Weber, Ut – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sled In The Yard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Cold Picnic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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White Landscaping – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Mountain Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Blowing On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold White Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Backyard Snowfall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Hillside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buddhist Instagram – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Ice Cold Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Evening Cold – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

House Underwater – Thistle, Utah

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House in a Frozen Pond – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thistle, Utah, is a strange place. It’s a little ghost town in Spanish Fork Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. It was established in 1878 and was a railroad town, situated along the Rio Grande mainline. U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 89 intersected in Thistle. A lot of people and cargo passed through there, but the town never really became much of anything. At it’s peak in the 1920’s, the town had a population of just over 400 people.

I had heard of Thistle many years ago, because photographer Richard Steinheimer had captured two of his most well known pictures there. I had never visited it, nor did I have any idea of what it looked like, outside of a couple black-and-white prints captured in the 1950’s. It was a recent adventure that led me to stumble upon Thistle quite by accident. I passed through it not knowing what I was passing through, and stopped because I saw something interesting.

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Photo by Richard Steinheimer

Steinheimer, if he were still alive, would not recognize Thistle. Both highways have been rerouted and the tracks have been realigned. Even the Spanish Fork River isn’t entirely in the same place. The town is almost entirely gone, with the exception of a half-submerged house and some crumbling ruins that are barely hanging on. In 1983 there was a massive mudslide that demolished the little town of Thistle. It completely destroyed the area. At the time it was the costliest landslide in U.S. history.

The ruins of Thistle are easy to miss. On the west side of Route 89 are a couple crumbled buildings that almost blend into the landscape. On the east side of the highway is an old house that’s halfway deep in water, hidden behind some tall brush. I’m sure many people drive right through Thistle and don’t even realize it. There’s not much to see. There wasn’t much to see when the town was still a town, but there’s really not much left today.

I visited Thistle on a cold winter day, much like Steinheimer did back before my parents were even born. The location is beautiful, and the snow hides the tragic remains. I’m glad that fate took me to this cold and lonely place as I appreciate the adventure. Thistle will soon be completely gone and I’m thankful that I got to see it before then. Still, I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon.

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Ice Cold Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Defaced & Decaying – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Hidden Hiemal Haggard Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Old Frozen Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Travel: Zion National Park in Autumn

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Virgin River From Canyon Junction Bridge – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Zion National Park was the third most visited National Park in America in 2017, right behind the Grand Canyon. Utah has five National Parks–only Alaska and California have more–and of the five Zion is by far the most popular, with Arches National Park a distant second. It’s no surprise that Zion is usually quite crowded. I was surprised at just how packed it was when I visited in the middle of the week in the middle of November. Isn’t this supposed to be the off-season when fewer people are there?

I arrived with my family in the morning about an hour after sunrise. We waited in a somewhat short line to get into Zion. Once inside we found the parking lot at the visitor’s center to be completely full, with a number of cars circling hoping that somebody would leave. We decided that we’d explore what we could of the park by automobile and hope that the parking situation would be better a little later.

This was our first time to Zion National Park and we really didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t anticipate the gobs of people and we didn’t expect that there’s not much one can see of the park from the car. There is the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, which is over one mile long, and a few pullouts along the road that were packed full of cars (I illegally parked to get the photo at the top of this article). There are some things that can be seen and experienced from behind the wheel, but most of the park is accessible only by the park’s bus system or by foot. Once we figured this out we put a more serious effort into finding a place inside Zion to park the car. Unfortunately, parking was still scarce and we were lucky to find a spot in an overflow lot that required a small hike to the nearest bus stop; however, we soon discovered that we left the kid’s sweaters at the hotel and it hadn’t warmed up enough yet to be out without them.

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Vista From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

We left the park feeling a bit defeated and disappointed. We found a combination coffee shop and gift shop in Springdale, which is the small town right outside of the park entrance, and purchased some warmer clothes for the kids and the wife and I sipped on some coffee. We decided to park in town and take the free shuttle to the park. This turned out to be a much better way to get into Zion. The bus dropped us off right outside the park, and a quick walk across a short bridge brought us to Zion’s shuttle stop. Unfortunately, the line for Zion’s shuttle was about 400 people deep, but thankfully there were a lot of buses running and the line moved surprisingly quick.

The bus was completely packed. We rode it to the end, which is where the Riverside Walk trail is located. This trail is about two miles round trip and very easy, even for the kids. It’s also extraordinarily scenic! The draw to this place is quite apparent. It’s a landscape photographer’s playground. It was also packed with people and at times felt like we were strolling through New York City and not a canyon in southern Utah. Even so, we had a good time enjoying the amazing natural sights around us.

After our hike we got back on the bus, which we had to wait in a line for and was again filled to the brim. We had intended to stay in the park longer, but we dared not get off the bus at a different stop because we might not find seats on another bus. So our stay in Zion was short. There is no doubt that this park is one of the most beautiful, but it’s too crowded. Next time I will have to ensure that it’s a less busy time of the year for a visit. I hear the park is beautiful dusted with snow.

For these pictures I used a Fujifilm X100F, a Fujifilm XF10 and a Fujifilm X-T20 with an Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 lens attached using an M42 adapter. The Asahi lens is fantastic, with just a little corner softness that improves as you stop down, and I paid only $30 for it (and it came with a camera). Despite the crowds, Zion is incredibly beautiful with photographic opportunities literally everywhere. I spent a partial day there and came away with these pictures. I felt like I left many great photographs behind. Zion National Park is a magical place for photography, but it’s not a very good place to find solitude, at least not when I was there.

B&W

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Virgin River Through Zion Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Rocky River – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sun High Over The Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Zion Canyon Sun – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sun Over Bridge Mountain – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Amanda & Johanna Asleep – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Rock Wall – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Trunks & Leaves – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Monochrome Vista From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Color

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The Family, Zion Bridge In Autumn – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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A Pine Among The Rocks – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Mount Carmel Tunnel & Chevy – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn River – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Virgin River In November – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Strolling Through Zion Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Rock Ledges – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Yellow Tree Against Red Rock – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Yellow Trees Below Bridge Mountain – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rocks of Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Desert Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Virgin River Through Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Yellow Tree, Zion Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Canyon Tree in Fall – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Yellow Leaves in Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Autumn Tree & Rock – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sunlight Through The Trees – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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The Yellow of Autumn – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Autumn Along The Virgin River – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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River Along The Autumn Path – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Flowing Through Zion Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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River In The Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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River & Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Rushing Virgin River – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Vibrant Autumn Forest – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B&W:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park Buffalo Corral

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Buffalo Corral – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. It’s home to about 700 wild buffalo. Every year Antelope Island State Park rounds up the buffalo herd so that they can be counted, examined, and vaccinated. This event, which is open to the public, happens every autumn and takes place over a seven day period.

I had the opportunity to photograph a portion of this year’s buffalo roundup, which I was very excited about. I missed the actual roundup, where a bunch of cowboys on horseback traverse the island to guide the bison to the corral, but I did get to witness the second phase, where the animals are seen one at a time by a veterinarian. This operation takes a team of about 40 people several days to complete. It’s fascinating to watch, but it’s also a slow process and there is a lot of downtime where very little is happening.

I used my Fujifilm X100F to capture these photographs, which are all unedited camera-made JPEGs. For the camera settings I used the [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe, utilizing the X100F’s built-in neutral density filter so that I could use high ISOs even in bright midday light. I took a photojournalist approach, and I think these settings worked particularly well for it. I’m pleased with how this series turned out and I hope that you enjoy the pictures!

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White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Patrol – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Time To Watch Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting For A Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Corral Workers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Head – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cautious Buffalo – Antelope Island, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Running Bison Calf – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Roundup Downtime – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope On The Gate – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leather Gloves – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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A Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Workers Waiting – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Between Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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On The Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Utah Cowboys – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Ranger – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Barriers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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From The Holding Pen – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Mother & Calf – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Track – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Three Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Tractor Ride – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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State Park Workday – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujfilm X100F

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Circular Gate Operator – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Preparation  – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Spying – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Pull – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pulling Hard – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Runner – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Games – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Skull – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Island Shore View – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Mountain Hike – Maples Trail – Wasatch-Cache National Forest – Snowbasin

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Forest Trail Uncertain – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I recently took my kids on a mountain hike. One great thing about where I live is easy access to the mountains. We can see them prominently from our backyard, and it only takes a half-an-hour drive to be up in them. While my kids were eating breakfast I asked them what they wanted to do. One answered, “Go on a hike,” while another said, “Climb a mountain.” So, as soon as breakfast was over, we did.

We drove up to the Snowbasin Resort, a popular place to ski in the winter, and found the Maples Trail, which begins off a parking lot at Snowbasin. This is located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest on the other side of the ridge from Ogden, Utah. The trail more-or-less follows Chicken Spring Creek and later Wheeler Creek. It’s a fairly wide path along much of it, and our three-wheeled stroller had no issues. We went only 30 minutes down and 30 minutes back, which was a good length considering it was a hot day and the four-year-old can only handle so much.

I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm macro lens and a Fujifilm X100F to capture the sights along the trail. Even though it is deep into summer, up on the mountain it seems more like late-spring, and there are lots of flowers in bloom. There were also lots of butterflies. A few of these pictures are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, but most of them saw some post-production using the RNI Films app on my phone to give them more of an analog-film look.

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Forest Service Trail – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Logs In A Pond – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dead Trees In The Water – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dead Trees In A Pond – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Meadow Beyond The Trees – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sunlight Through The Canopy – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Fallen On The Forest Floor – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Chicken Spring Creek – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Mountain Creek – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Creek Grass – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Still Springtime In The Mountains – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Butterfly Nectar – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Butterfly On Thistle Blossom – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dandelion Macro – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Spider Web Leaves – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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White Tree Trunk – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Trees In The Wasatch – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F