Posts Tagged Factory Butte

Home for the Holidays

I’ve mentioned before that several years ago, after having lost my muse because I stayed away from the desert far too long, I had to take a trip back to this beautiful country. As I dropped into Capitol Reef from the west, I burst into tears and said to no-one in particular, “Mother, I’m home.” To no-one? No, to the desert itself.

The mother desert? Yes, why not? It’s part of Mother Nature (or, as I often refer to her when the weather is bad, Ma Nature), and it’s the best part, I’ll warrant. There’s something about the desert that attracts me and nurtures me.

That’s hard to believe when one gives a cursory look around. There’s really not much there to offer physical sustenance (while I haven’t tried it, I’d guess it’s hard to eat cactus spines or juniper bark). If it’s not physical sustenance the desert offers it must be something else. Sustenance for the soul, perhaps. A deeper look confirms that.

I decided on that trip so long ago that this desert is my soul’s home. And home is where I need to be.

So I went down to the desert this past Thanksgiving. That means a couple things:

  • First, no turkey for thanksgiving dinner. In fact, if I didn’t stash some food in my motel room, no dinner at all. Everything closes for the holiday in the small towns that border the area I love. And that’s a good thing. I hate turkey anyway
  • Second, it reminds me to be truly thankful for this incredible landscape, my family and friends. You know, all the good things

But what is it that is so attractive in this land of harsh, dry rock and clay? Clearly there’s something. Perhaps it’s just the glee one feels when yet another stunning piece of land presents itself. And in that presentation challenges the photographer to record it with sensitivity and love.

Along with the discovery and recording comes the opportunity to share this experience with others. That’s key: the opportunity to share my experiences. When I stumble across natural beauty, I want to share it. And the best way for me to share is through my photography. So here are a couple looks at what I was thankful for last week.

 

As you know, I’m fascinated by Factory Butte. I walked in closer to the landform to see what it looked like up close.

 

Factory Butte

Factory Butte

 

The ‘badlands’ around the Butte are equally worth taking a look at.

 

Clay Hills, Caineville, Utah

Clay Hills, Caineville, Utah

 

And, of course, what’s a photography trip without a sunset?

 

Sunset, Capitol Reef National Park

Sunset, Capitol Reef National Park

 

Or a sunrise, for that matter?

 

Sunset, Capitol Reef National Park

Sunset, Capitol Reef National Park

 

 

 

More to follow,

Bob

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More from Capitol Reef

If you follow my blog, you know that Capitol Reef and Factory Butte are my favorite places on the planet. We were there a couple weeks ago and I’m slowly poring through the several hundred exposures I made.

A few of them are worth sharing, so I’ll drop them in as time moves on.

Factory Butte is a real attraction for me. I’ve tried and tried to get a good image of it, and while I’ve got some that I’m glad to share, the perfect image is still out there. I’ll get it someday, but while I wait, here’s one that’s not too bad. A nice dramatic sky after a very disappointing sunrise (click to see the image full size):

Factory Butte, Sunrise April, 2015

Factory Butte, Sunrise April, 2015

 

And the skies were dramatic all around. This one was taken in Capitol Grand Gorge Wash (I can never remember if it’s Capitol Gorge or Grand Wash). Ma Nature really put on a show that weekend. As an added attraction, the moon appears in the only open piece of sky. See if you can spot it.

Canyon, Clouds and Moon

Canyon, Clouds and Moon

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Looking at the past

Well, a couple things have changes. First, I’ve tried to get rid of the hacks that trash my RSS feed, but can’t seem to find a way to do that. So I changed my theme, hoping that might make a difference. We’ll see. I don’t like the new theme that much, but I’ve tried to modify it and it doesn’t seem to want to work either. Grrrrrr.

Anyway, I’ve been going through some old fotos after receiving a request for prints of a couple that I really couldn’t find. I’ve still got a bunch of new ones to go through, but this request got me started.

These aren’t the ones and I may have shown them to you before, but I was just reminded how much I like Factory Butte, so I’m going to show them again. So there.

In addition, I’m experimenting with a different kind of image file, so we’ll see what happens.

 

Two sunrise images (Click on the images for a better view):

 

Factory Butte Sunrise #1

Factory Butte Sunrise #1

Factory Butte Sunrise #1

 

Factory Butte Sunrise #2

Factory Butte Sunrise #2

Factory Butte Sunrise #2

 

More to follow.

Bob

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I’m Incorrigible

I had to head back to Laramie a day early and wanted to start early in the day. I figured if I got back at a decent time I’d be able to get some rest and have a little time to decompress. I had no plans to stop at Factory Butte. After all, we had already been there for a hike and I managed not to take any photos of the monolith. One day at a time is what it takes to break an addiction and photographing the Butte is truly my worst habit.

I headed out on Highway 24 before dawn (easy when daylight savings time rears its ugly head), and thought I’d make it past the Butte before the light got good. No way. Here’s what I was compelled to stop and shoot:

The light was pretty good, but the only light that was hitting the butte was reflected from the clouds. The sky was pretty dramatic, so I thought a black-and-white would do it justice.

Factory Butte Sunrise 1

Factory Butte Sunrise 1

But the colors were changing and these looked about right (remember, click on the image to see larger (and more color-accurate versions):

Factory Butte Sunrise 2

Factory Butte Sunrise 2

More to follow,

Bob

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Back where I belong

Got some bad news Friday. I hadn’t been selected for a job I really felt would be a good one for me. I was kind of bummed out. Saturday, as I turned off I-70 and headed for Capitol Reef, Factory Butte came into view. I started smiling uncontrollably. Seems that chunk of clay has a hold on me. And it’s a good one.

We went to Hanksville to get a family portrait at the Wolverton Mill, then to Factory Butte (where else?) to hike one of the many small slot canyons in the area. It was a real recharge to see the family and spend time with them, and, of course, to be in the shadow of the Butte.

A long hike today has tired me out, so this will be short, but here’s what I’ve seen so far:

I love slot canyons as long as they don’t require ropes and parachutes, These around the Butte are particularly interesting because of the tortured rocks that we find.

 

Coal Road Slot

Coal Road Slot

There’s another network of slots near the visitor center in Capitol Reef. This one is unnamed officially, but Nick calls ‘Little canyon.’ I call int ‘Nick’s Canyon.’ Either way, it gives us a nice frame for the Castle. I’ve shown you shots of this before, but this one is actually three images combined, intended to open up the shadows and control the highlights. Called High-Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, it’s a sometimes-controversial technique. But when I get results like this, I don’t mind if some don’t believe the process belongs in photography.

The Castle from Little Canyon

The Castle from Little Canyon

More to follow,

Bob

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No, I really can’t help it!

OK, so here we are, looking at all sorts of cool stuff and I just had to go back to Factory Butte. As you’ll see, the sky was spectacular in the Park, so I figured it would be equally good out at the Butte. Besides, we had a couple hours to sunset, so what the heck. Nick knows I’m a pretty whiney goof if I don’t get my way, so off we went. I’m glad we did. Another couple hundred images and something I think I might like.

How did I know we should go to the Butte? Just look at the sky in this image of the west side of the Reef and figure if it will be good to the East.

Capitol Reef Skyline

Capitol Reef Skyline

Then see what the sky had in store for us at the Butte.

Factory Butte #3

Factory Butte #3

Oh, and I also love juniper trees. This one had a nice little desert garden waiting to be discovered, so I had to photograph it. The pale green-leaved plant on the right side of the garden is the Roundleaf Buffalo Berry. According to an interpretive sign at another national park, the Buffaloberry is the only plant that Native Americans couldn’t figure out a use for. It’s kinda nice in this garden, though.

Desert Garden

Desert Garden

More to follow,

Bob

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What to do while waiting

My nephew from Florida was coming to the desert. We were going to meet at the historic Wolverton Mill (do a search, you’ll probably find it) at high noon. But, of course, there’s a whole morning to use up waiting to go to the Mill. So what does one do in Capitol Reef and the surrounding area? Take the camera for a drive.

Of course, you won’t be surprised to see two of the fotos. The sky was great, I wanted to try a little different angle and framing, so wandered up a wash. The buckwheat photo is for Nick. He’s got a fetish for desert buckwheat and I don’t really blame him. It’s a fascinating plant. Use that for the foreground to my fetish, Factory Butte, and you’ll get an interesting image.

Here’s how to wait without getting bored:

Buckwheat Factory

Buckwheat Factory

I kind of like this framing of the Butte:

Framed Butte

Framed Butte

 

And, of course, water in the desert is fascinating. It’s water, doing its thing, that makes much of what we see so stunning. Here’s a little erosion in process.

Waterfall, Fremont River

Waterfall, Fremont River

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I can’t help myself!

Well, we were in Bluff and wondering what we’d do when we heard that a storm was moving into Capitol Reef. Capitol Reef in the snow is stunning. Well, it’s stunning any time, of course, but with snow: wow!

Unfortunately all we got was cold wind. But even that’s OK, because the storm clouds were moving in and out and that means I had to go back to the place I’m trying to make a good photograph of: Factory Butte. While Nick and I stood out in the wind and shivered, the clouds moved in and out. 150 exposures gave me a lot to work with.

I previsualized black-and-white images on the way and I think they might have worked out to some extent. Here they are:

Factory Butte and clouds

Factory Butte and clouds

Factory Butte and Clouds 2

Factory Butte and Clouds 2

More to follow.

Bob

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Obsessive? Compulsive? Why not?

OK, I admit it, and have all along. I am obsessive when it comes to finding a good foto of a particular location. Regular readers will remember seeing several images of Factory Butte. You will also remember I said I’d continue to photograph it until I got it right. Here are two more images. Each has a little something going for it. While the sunrise color is not precisely what I was looking for, the new angle helped some and a little post-processing enhanced (but did not change) the color. Except for the second one.

 

Factory Butte. Sunrise

Factory Butte. Sunrise

Factory Butte, Sunrise, Monochrome

Factory Butte, Sunrise, Monochrome

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People and Places

Oh, the people I travel with and the places I go. Here are two examples of what I have to put up with in the canyon country:

Aunt Fred

Aunt Fred

First up is Nick, or as he is sometimes fondly referred to, “Aunt Fred.” Aunt Fred came from a misunderstanding of a line from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” John thought Eric Idle was saying “Bring out Aunt Fred.” Well, anyway, we couldn’t let the name to, so… I’ve got a lot of desert miles with Nick and have learned about his fetish for desert buckwheat. I’ve never seen him war it, though.

 

Tony

Tony

I’ve mostly hiked with Tony in the mountains, but am getting him trained for the desert. He’s a good hiker, a little more willing than I am to overdo it, but that’s OK, I probably could benefit from a push here and there. Tony is always ready to pose for a hero shot. I’ll leave the embarrassing ones out.

But here’s where we went today: Factory Butte at sunrise. I’ve photographed this icon about a million times and have yet to get the ideal shot.

Factory Butte, Sunrise

Factory Butte, Sunrise

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