Summer in Moab

Summer is here in full force, and midday temps are hot! Sunrise photography is still cool, and the landscapes are great. We’ve been starting our Sunset Tours a little later to let things cool off before going out, and we’re staying out later and doing some night landscapes with light-painting. Everyone seems to enjoy learning the technique. The very photogenic Collared Lizards and Leopard Lizards are commonly seen now, and we’ve gotten some great shots of some who’ve been pretty cooperative subjects, at least, as cooperative as lizards get.

As we move closer to the ‘monsoon season’ (a relative term in the desert) we’re getting some great afternoon cloud formations that really add a lot to any landscape shot. Learning to do panoramas has also been very popular. The newest version of Photoshop (CS3) has a much-improved panoramic stitcher than previous versions of P-shop. It is well worth the upgrade.

A hike up to the Anasazi granary on Aztec Butte in Canyonlands yielded a particularly beautiful shot. It’s in the Canyonlands Gallery on page 2. It is only possible to get this one around the summer solstice because the arches next to the ruin cast shadows over it most of the year. The bad part is hiking up the steep climb to it on Summer Solstice! It was worth the effort, but it was really an effort. It’s a hike only for those with good knees and sound hearts.

Spring Update in Moab

Spring got a small setback here when the nighttime temps dropped to near freezing one night, and daytime temps were only in the 50’s-60’s.  This slowed the cacti down somewhat in their blossoming.  I had found several good Claret Cup cacti which had started to bloom, but have stopped putting out any more blossoms until the temps stay in the 70’s for a few days.  The yellow Prince’s Plumes are starting to blossom all over on the rocky slopes, and the really pretty scorpion weed (pretty flower, not so pretty name) is abundant on south-facing slopes.  The Indian Paintbrush is getting even better than it was last week.  The Utah Serviceberry shrubs are covered with white blossoms, and the Fendlerbushes are in full bloom with large, white cross-shaped flowers.  The bright orange-flowered Globemallow is also starting to bloom. We had a good rainstorm last week which should boost the spring flower bloom even more as it warms back up.  Today’s forecast high is 66, with the temps back in the 70’s starting tomorrow.  Great springtime photo weather.  My new carbon fiber levelling tripod just arrived from Gitzo and it is great!  It makes levelling the camera for panoramics much quicker and easier, and is much lighter than my old workhorse Gitzo 320.  For those of you who like to shoot panoramics, consider investing in either a levelling tripod, or a levelling base for your tripod.  Makes life much easier — a least the panoramic photography part.

Springtime in Moab

April 6, 2007

Welcome to the new Moab Photo Tours Guide Blog.  Springtime has arrived in Moab with daytime temps in the high 70’s and lots of sunshine.  Some recent rains gave the wildflowers a boost and the Canyon Country is starting to blossom all over.  The small Uta and Sceloperus lizards are now active, though I haven’t seen any of the larger, colorful Collared Lizards yet.  The roadsides are lined with purple milkvetch varieties with Pallid Evening Primrose mixed in.  White phlox and yellow wallflowers are also in evidence.  Mountain Mahogany shrubs are in full bloom along the slickrock benches, and Indian Paintbrush is also coming on strong.  I saw my first Prince’s Plume blossom of the season yesterday and also found some Claret Cup cacti with scarlet buds appearing.  These should start to blossom over the next week or two as well.  If you like photographing the desert with wildflowers to add even more color, then now is a good time to come to Moab to photograph.  Temps are perfect, we still have snow on the La Sal Mountains for scenic backdrops, and the wildflowers are starting to put on a good show for us.