Bryce Day Two
Waking up hours before sunrise this morning, I had planned to get to Sunset point before anyone else to stake my spot. After the mix-up at Mesa Arch, there was no way I was gonna be beaten to the punch. So at about 6 AM, I headed out to the car to find it frozen over. Being at about 8,000 feet in mid-October, it was a toasty 29 degrees. After letting the car defrost for about ten minutes, I headed down the road, noticing a car in front of me…I was not about to let them beat me there. But as we headed into the parking lot I noticed NO ONE was there! Thankfully, the car in front of me wasn’t in a rush to head out to the canyon rim right away and instead stay warm in the car so I did the same, granted it was still an hour before sunrise. So after a little while, I headed out to the rim just to see what it was like. I noticed a distinct glow on the walls of the canyon, I thought it was from someones headlights pulling in, but it was really just the twilight reflecting off the sandstone cliffs. Still being way before sunrise, I headed back to the car to warm up. Car after car started creeping into the lot, no one really leaving their cars though. So about 30 minutes before sunrise, I decided to suck it up and head out. Alarmingly, there were already 3 people set up, I had no idea how they came to be there without me noticing. They really didn’t hamper my choosing of a spot though, so I was not at all upset, mostly just trying to keep warm. I set up shop, and then out of nowhere about 60-70 people were behind me on the overlook…tour buses full of tourists waiting for sunrise too.
I was figuring the overlook would be full of tripods, but really it was just a bunch of point-and-shoots and I had plenty space to get my shots in. I really liked the shots I took just before the sun came over the horizon, before the contrast cut through the hoodoos to lose all that magical color. After the sun rose, I started to look for other compositions down in the canyon, to see if I could get some of that morning light glowing off the red rocks. I can’t say I really love the rest of my shots after that first twilight one, but its only the first morning and was a good learning experience. Tomorrow will be a new, but equally chilly day.