The Light Shines Brightly on WorldPix!

The WorldPix board of directors (and spouses) recently completed a trip to the Southwest of the United States to build comradery amongst the team, work on developing the WorldPix charity, and take pictures of wondrous places. We visited the Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona during our four day trip. We were all committed to the cause going in and have now cemented our resolve going forward. We will succeed.

Our trip was focused on landscape photography. This means photographing during the best light of the day – both sunrise and sunset. We got up very early, sometimes two hours prior to sunrise and went to bed late (after sunset, dinner, and image processing). These were long days! There was not a single complaint among us, even the non-photographers.

On a landscape photography trip, weather can get in the way. Each place / time we shot started off looking quite bleak.  Here is our story…

At the Grand Canyon we met at 4:30 AM in the parking lot, coffee in hand. It was pitch black but we could easily see there was full cloud cover, which is not a good recipe for a sunrise shoot. We all stood around trying to decide whether to go or not. More sleep sounded good to five of us.  But the sixth, Paul, says, “let’s go!”  So, off we went. He is the boss. We got to our location a little bit before sunrise and there was still heavy cloud cover. We set up anyway hoping for a glimpse of the sun. Then, just before the sun was to rise, the clouds broke. What started out looking bleak turned out glorious – the light shining brightly on WorldPix.

We were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise as captured by Paul Lynch.

We were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise as captured by Paul Lynch.

Our next location was a place called, “The Paria Rimrocks,” located in southern Utah, where we got see and photograph some unique rock formations.  The common name for this area is “The Toadstools,” which are hoodoos.  In case you haven’t heard of these rock formations, they are protrusions of relatively soft rock from the bottom of a badland with a harder stone hat on top.

This location has 100s of these hoodoos to marvel at.

This location has 100s of these hoodoos to marvel at.

We hiked out to the far end of the Paria Rimrocks and started to shoot when storm clouds started to roll in. If we get caught in the storm, the rocks could be so slippery that we may not be able to get out. Kathryn and I (with her urging) decided to head back to the car to wait it out. Paul says, I’m staying right here to shoot!” (Are you noticing a theme here?).

Paul Lynch and Ryan Plakonouris refused to leave even though there was an impending storm. They were rewarded with some great photos – as the storm passed us by. Photo by Ryan Plakonouris.

On the way to the car we stopped at the main toadstool to shoot it against the purple, stormy sky. All of a sudden the sun shone on the toadstool  and a miraculous rainbow appeared. It was a one in a million (billion?) shooting opportunity. So we stayed and shot. Then, to our surprise, the storm moved off without even a drop.  This must have been a gift from the heavens! WorldPix has a heavenly watcher, shining brightly on us.

Jeff Dannay as lucky as we could get with storm clouds in the background, rainbow overhead, and the hoodoo lit up by the sun.

We were as lucky as we could get with storm clouds in the background, rainbow overhead, and the hoodoo lit up by the sun.

On our way back to get the hearty shooters we stopped at another unique rock formation, something I call Mars.

Even with our hectic pace, Kathryn Dannay shows there is always time for contemplation.

Even with our hectic pace, Kathryn Dannay shows there is always time for contemplation.

What looked like a washout turned into an amazing shooting experience.

The risk is worth the reward!

The risk is worth the reward!

Our itinerary had us doing a sunrise shoot at the famous Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. We wanted to avoid the crowds of people that accumulate at sunset. But the clouds were looking nice in the distance and Paul says, “let’s shoot it tonight!” So we quickly altered our plans and headed out there. We had to make sure we got there at least 2 hours prior to sunset so we could claim our spot.  Shooting Horseshoe Bend can be a bit problematic. You have to get right at the edge of the cliff to get the best shot. There are no railings for this 1,000 foot drop to your death. That didn’t stop any of us as we perched right on the edge with our tripods. (Ryan says, “I’m sitting on a thin biscuit!”)

Just as Paul predicted, the clouds turned out amazing and the sunset was spectacular. I have been to Horseshoe Bend many times but have never seen the clouds and sun so beautiful. The light definitely shines brightly on WorldPix.

 

 

Paul Lynch's shot of Horseshoe Bend is nothing short of spectacular.

Paul Lynch’s shot of Horseshoe Bend is nothing short of spectacular.

At every turn we ended up with the best light.  Was this divine intervention? We all think so. WorldPix is trying to gain steam. To us, this is confirmation that we are on the right track. Please come join us on our journey!

 

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