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.


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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