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Old Mormon church in Grafton

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And another one from Utah -- this time the ghost town of Grafton, near Zion National Park. The infamous bicycle scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was filmed here -- watch the clip below and get a short glimpse of the old Mormon church.

They definitely don't make movies like this anymore, eh?

I had a hard time preventing 'banding' when I exported the photo from Lightroom as a jpg (I shot in RAW). Neat trick: slide the luminance slider to the right for blue a bit. It works!

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - The... by Tushratta


The above photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.


Slot canyon in Zion National Park

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Another one from my recent visit to Zion National Park for a photo workshop. This is in a slot canyon reachable from one of the pullouts on the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel in the park -- it was a pretty easy scramble down even with my gimpy knee. 

It was shady in the canyon and the colors muted, so I decided to go with black and white, which I think better emphasizes the lines and surreal landscape.

Related posts from my Utah trip:

Turkey vultures in Zion Canyon

A bird's home in Zion Canyon

North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon

Angel's Landing

My gallery on SmugMug. And please follow me on Twitter


This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Turkey vultures in Zion Canyon

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When I first spotted these birds from the shuttle stop at the Temple of Sinawa in Zion Canyon I was hoping they were California Condors that have taken up residence at the park. Nope -- not big enough. They were turkey vultures. 

So I tossed the 70-300mm telephoto on the camera and reeled off a bunch of shots, most of them horribly exposed (forgot to change settings from earlier). But I was shooting in RAW, meaning I could totally fuck up exposure and save it later in Lightroom.

Which is what I did, along with adding a healthy crop. Yeah, a better closeup of the vultures would be better but this is as good as I could do -- the shot wasn't crisp enough to crop closer. Besides, I like the context -- the viewer knows this photo was taken someplace pretty special. 

More photos from my Utah trip on my SmugMug site. And please follow me on Twitter


This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Angel's Landing

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Look close: these are people on top of the mesa. They are small. The rock is big.

If you haven't been to Zion National Park, Angel's Landing is one of the premiere hikes in the park. It's also poopy-pants scary, requiring a hike up a very narrow and steep ridge with dropoffs of 1,400 feet or more.

I made it about one-third of the way up in 2009 and literally sat down on the trail and started sucking my thumb. I have jumped out of a plane twice without too much fear. Of course, I was attached to a parachute -- on Angel's Landing, there isn't much more than a few chains to cling to.

Kudos to those who make it. Maybe next time for me.

As for the photo, I took this using my 70 to 300mm telephoto from the banks of the North Fork of the Virgin River near the Zion Lodge. I was surprised that I was actually able to see people. I could have cropped tigher but I like the big view that emphasizes how little people are in comparison to the surroundings.

If you want to buy a print of this photo for a friend/spouse/family member who climbed Angel's Landing, I won't stop you. I do recommend the metallic paper, which makes colors really pop and sizzle. Any questions, just email me.

Here's my portfolio and other work on my SmugMug page and feel free to follow me on Twitter; I think I'm up to four followers or something.

Related posts:

Swirling river in Zion Canyon

Bird building nest in Zion Canyon


This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.


North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon

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Another pic from my photo workshop last weekend at Zion National Park. This was taken just downstream from the Narrows, where the canyon gets taller and tighter. 

Settings: 10mm on my Nikon DX 10-24 lens, 2 seconds, f/22, ISO 100 on my Nikon D5100. It was late in the day, so the canyon was shady and I held the darkest part of my graduated neutral density filter in front of the lens so I could keep the shutter open longer. Of course, the camera was on a tripod and I used a remote shutter release. 

The big takeaway from the workshop: when shooting landscapes always try to use as small an aperture as possible to get more depth of field. Why is that important? Because when you look at a landscape with your own two eyes, most everything is in focus. So why start blurring things for no particular reason with less depth of field?

It probably seems like obvious advice to many photographers. But quite honestly, I often go hiking without a tripod and just shoot on automatic. And it has worked -- I've gotten some good images. But here's the thing: on automatic, my D5100 will usually default to f/5.6 or f/8. Shooting at f/25 means carrying and using a tripod, which is: A) a pain in the ass; B) a time suck, and; C) a good way to piss off your hiking partner who will have to stand there and watch you fuck around with your tripod and gear for 15 minutes in order to take a single photo. 

But then there's this: it works! Using the tripod definitely earned me some better pics at Zion and got me to slow down and think more about composition and exposure. 

More about my fancy new tripod in a future post. And more Zion photos in the coming days.

Hey, it's Thursday. Meaning it's almost Friday. You've already worked three days this week -- that's more than enough if you ask me. So why not spend part of today checking out photos on my SmugMug site? It's fun.

You can also follow me on Twitter even though I think Twitter is a dumb-ass way to spend your time and a likely sign the universe is about to fizzle. It has been a fun few billion years! 


This image is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Home sweet home

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I just got back from a three-day photo workshop at Zion National Park, where I took this photo during a lunch break. I was tempted to crop it tighter but I like wildlife shots with a little context -- and habitat! 

How often have you seen someone post wildlife shots from Yellowstone but they crop it so tight or go in so close with the telephoto they forget to include the Yellowstone part? 

As for this little guy, I was taking some landscape shots by the Virgin River and a bunch of birds kept flying by. I was standing beneath this try and happened to notice the hole in the trunk. So I just zoomed in and waited...and waited...and waited...and sure enough a bird arrived and disappeared into the trunk. A little more waiting and boom! I got the pic. 

I have a bunch of photos that need processing so I'll post them over the next several days including some good photo tips I picked up at the workshop. 


This photo @Steve Hymon and may not be used without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Harvey House restaurant

Another peek inside.

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The view from upstairs.

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Side view.

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And here's the old bar at Harvey House.

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Shot these for work -- this is the old Harvey House restaurant at Union Station in Los Angeles. 

Although the station is busier than at any time since it was built in 1939, the restaurant has been shuttered since the late 1960s and is now mostly used for film and photo shoots. 

It's a great place and hopefully the restaurant and bar will soon be revived. It seems like a perfect place for a happy hour. Here's a big slideshow I put together about Union Station. 

Nothing to do this weekend? Check out my SmugMug site and/or follow me on Twitter because I won't bother you with many annoying tweets. 


Los Angeles Grand Park from above

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Took this one with my telephoto from the observatory atop Los Angeles City Hall -- I was trying for the symmetry + color thing. 

If you don't mind passing through a metal detector and having your i.d. closely examined, the City Hall deck is open to the public. Check it out for some great views. Views toward the ocean are best in the morning when it's clear out. Naturally, I visited in the afternoon on a foggy day. 

Hey, it's Monday so not point in working quite yet-- peruse my SmugMug site instead! And follow me on Twitter, please. Someone should. 

Like the above? Buy a print here: a 5 x 7 on metallic-finish paper is $6 and SmugMug also offers some inexpensive mounting options. 


These photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Hipstamatic & downtown Los Angeles, part 3

Another one in ongoing series of trying to document the many faces/landscapes/buildings of downtown Los Angeles. Those are some of L.A.'s skyscrapers, taken from Pershing Square. The bottom was taken on Olvera Street. 

Here's part one and part two.

The photos were taken using D-type film and the Libatique lens. 

Many other photos at my SmugMug site. And follow me on Twitter.


These photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be reproduced or used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.