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Other Happy and Poison Spring Canyons & Dirty Devil

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by RossK, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. RossK

    RossK

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    Firstly a happy New Year to all on here & hope freezefesters have a good time.

    I’m afraid I can’t offer much to all the interesting discussions here, but thought I’d offer a TR of a photogenic canyon in nice light as not many TRs get posted this time of year - even though this one is non-technical as you know.
    However the road was far rockier and wetter than I expected and I'd expected the first 10 miles would be much better than it was.
    My cautious driving companion did 5mph much of the time as, having seen no other cars, we were conscious that a breakdown meant up to a 15 mile hike back to paved road and a very expensive tow.
    But we still got to camp on the rim of the Dirty Devil in time for a lovely sunset

    _MG_9948imp.

    Then alpenglow

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    The hike at dawn though I did alone - catching nice moon views before sunrise.

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    Happy itself had a couple of thigh deep pools and quite a bit of mud. So only once did I bother setting up a tripod to shoot myself as I think the shots would have been a bit better with someone in them but that wasn’t to be.
    The reflected light towards mid day after turning round and heading out was better so I probably repeated quite a few of the photos taken when heading up canyon.

    I particularly liked a gateway like entry spot

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    Coming back down canyon I couldn't remember what I'd taken photos of, but the light was definitely better now that it was getting into the canyon and reflecting, so it was worth taking anything looking nice.


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    my favourite shot

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    And a face profile of the right hand wall here


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    As I really liked a few photos of Halls Creek and Smith Rock which I went to just before or after Happy (well they are canyons) & Cathedral Valley I thought I’d tag them on the end.

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    This alcove one does look heavily photoshopped, but I only really brightened up the dark foreground shadow deep inside the alcove. As you can see from photos from Happy Canyon one side often turns orange off the light while the other is pink and you can see the colours transform from one to the other in the central part _MG_9784impresized.

    _MG_9855-8pano2resized2.

    Incidentally, we didn’t get time to head along Halls Creek’s Narrows rim to search out the great viewpoints I’ve read about peering down into it & I can’t find any online. But it was so beautiful inside it that it must be incredible from above so if anyone has such photos I’d love you to post them here please to satisfy my curiosity & frustration at not getting the chance

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  2. Wayne

    Wayne

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    Great pictures. Thanks for the share.
    RossK likes this.
  3. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Awesome! Is this recent? Nice light in Happy.
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  4. RossK

    RossK

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    Mid-October this year. (As I've got about 35 days worth like this from this summer/fall to go through and I take far too many photos of these places I've only gone through about half so far, so I'm afraid post in stages over several months!)

    I went up Happy about 9.30am and down about 11.30am. I'm sure you have a better idea than me on this Dan, but I've not really figured out what's the best light and time for photos in slots. Direct mid-day sun coming in deep down is maybe too bright but less of a problematic wide dynamic range. Reflected light from a lower sun gives the best oranges but as you know the light contrast for the camera makes the bright light up high too bright or blown out and the floor is too dark and colourless (plus often there's too big a dynamic range between a lit wall and unlit opposite wall). Early and late, when you get no direct sunlight hitting anywhere, it is even at least throughout, but those beautiful oranges don't happen.

    That fact I don't often bother with a tripod for long hikes, wet canyons & the messing about involved, adds to the complications especially if the dark means too slow a shutter speed. (I sometimes go f4 for more light, less shake, but then lose out on focus range). What do you find works best Dan?
    Ram likes this.
  5. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    It all depends. Sun angle, orientation of the slot, shape of the canyon. There is no magic bullet. Tripod's definitely help though, no doubt. As do cameras with great low light sensors. In general, mid-day is preferable in canyons, not sure how much better it could get in there.
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  6. tflaris

    tflaris

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    Great pics.

    Sounds like a bipolar trip, Happy Springs and Poison Springs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    RossK likes this.
  7. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Location:
    Utah
    Nice photos.
    I've done happy 4 times now and as of this past April the 22020 road is the best shape I've ever seen. Once it took us just under 4 hours to get from pavement to the end of the road.
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  8. peakbaggers

    peakbaggers "Beaten paths are for beaten men."

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    Location:
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    Photographic suggestions from our experience: Best times for lighting are usually mid to late morning and early afternoon to mid afternoon. These times avoid mid day when the bright sun is most likely to get all the way down into the slot. This must be seasonally adjusted. Later fall, winter and early spring can bring better lighting because the sun stays at a lower angle during the day. Generally, the best lighting is when the sun is reflecting off the walls and not reaching too far down as you have found. Depending on the camera, adjust your ISO to a higher setting, but not so high as to become grainy as in one of your photos. Bracket all your photos and use a tripod whenever possible. The bracketed photos always provide the opportunity to create an HDR image which can help adjust for the variances in lighting higher up on the walls versus lower down where it becomes darker.
    We have wanted to visit this canyon for a long time but have been deterred by both the long & difficult drive in or the long hike. To give ourselves plenty of photo time, we plan on a two-day trip and an overnight stay, hence a backpack.
    Thanks for sharing & the photos. Makes us more determined to get there.
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  9. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Due to the position of Happy winter is not the ideal time for the good light. There a few corners that light up from 10-12pm but after that it goes flat. There might be some good pockets in the late afternoon but I've always hiked out so we have time to shoot sunset from somewhere along off the 22020 road.

    2018-01-02_10-20-00.

    2018-01-02_10-20-15.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  10. peakbaggers

    peakbaggers "Beaten paths are for beaten men."

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    Location:
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    Good to know. Thanks for the response.
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