Wondering how to get the full moon to show up on cue? Ans. you need to be a tech geek. I use a program called the Photographer’s Ephemeris to figure out when the moon will be full and, more importantly, when it will be setting to the West around sunrise (sky not too bright or dark). Ergo, I want the sun coming up behind me and the moon in front of me. I also, need to figure out how to get the angle of the moon just right (in relation to what I’m photographing). I told you this requires a photo geek!
Zion’s Canyon Overlook lined up just perfectly a few weeks ago!
The next morning I tried another Zion spot (just behind the Human History Museum) and BAM.
Not done yet. Hopped in the car and made the 5 hour drive to Death Valley. The next morning I’m chasing that moon again, this time at an the iconic Zabriskie Point.
Death Valley, of course, has a bunch more to offer! Portions of the desert floor flooded last August causing the mud bottom to dry into a mosaic of fantastic shapes.
There are also miles of cool looking sand dunes, bracketed in the rear by the Cottonwood Mountains. One of my buddies shown below to put things into perspective.
If you look hard enough, you can even find water in America’s hottest place.
The pictures above are literally taken at sea level. Parts of the park sit almost 5,000 ft higher, offering spectacular views.
About 90 minutes West of the Park lies California’s Alabama Hills. At the base of Mount Whitney, this area was home to hundreds of westerns. Pictured below is the iconic Mobius Arch.
Hey, gotta keep moving. Time to start heading back. On route is an other worldly place called Goblin Valley. The early morning sun creates some long shadows across the desert floor. Those funny looking sculptures down there are called “hoodoos”.
Last stop, a Martian landscape in the Utah Badlands. Ironically at ground level the scenery looks very uninteresting. Boring in fact! But fly a drone 1,600 feet above and you see some incredible patterns.
Coming in for a landing we angle the camera up a little to see the surrounding neighborhood.
There’s plenty more to see! Click the link below to check out the entire gallery: