Wide angle fail

After my amazing trip through the slot canyon, I had heard about this awesome river bend nearby and wanted to go check it out. Why this idea sucked, in no particular order below:

  • It was 100 degrees out and the hike to the river bend shot was about a mile across hot rocks/dirt with no shade
  • I didn’t realize how close the bend would be from the cliff and how large it would loom in my frame
  • See above part about a “cliff” being involved; I have a stark fear of heights
  • I had a room at the Bellagio waiting for me at the end of this trip, so the idea of meandering in 100 degree sun in northern Arizona was no longer *that* appealing
  • Did I mention how hot it was?

When I got to the river bend, after exactly 1 mile of mental preparation/reinforcement that I was a young, relatively in shape 30-something and was not going to die simply because it was ‘hot outside’ I knew I wouldn’t linger long. I’d get the shot and get back to my Jeep and start the journey into Utah through Zion to Vegas.

This is a perfect example of an awesome, amazing, well-timed/planned HDR shot from exactly where I was laying. I did not take this photo but wanted to use it as an example.

I set my pack down and crawled on my stomach on white-hot rocks to the edge of the cliff, at which point I stuck my camera over the edge and snapped a few shots. I checked the result and wasn’t happy, snapped a few more, repeated that for a few rounds and finally got frustrated with: a) hot fucking hot it was on the rocks and b) my 28 wasn’t wide enough to get the entire bend c) the fact that I was on the edge of a sheer 2000 foot drop off d) all of the above.

I quickly scrunched back to my pack, changed out to the fisheye, crawled back out to the edge and fired off several shots.

“I WILL FIX IT AND CROP IT IN POST I NEED TO GET OFF THIS CLIFF BEFORE I PASS OUT.”

Know what happens when you switch from a 28-300 lens to a fisheye on manual settings? I was able to only kind of salvage this image into the one you see up top.

I didn’t really want to be there, the conditions were terrible and I am pretty sure walking back to my car uphill in the heat I died and am now blogging from the afterlife.

It was a nice view, but would that I could have fast-forwarded the day six hours I think it would have ended up being a much more pleasant experience though I did make the best of it. My biggest lesson was learned when I saw how blown out these shots were – I had totally forgotten about re-calibrating the settings when I switched lenses – the elements of nature were making things pretty stressful for me, resulting in totally crappy shots.

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