Saturday, February 25, 2012

Red Sand Beach Sunrise (near Hana, Maui)

Red Sand Beach, Maui Soft morning light touches the rocks, ocean and red sand on this Hana Beach, Hawaii.
Red Sand Beach, Maui at sunrise

Red sand beach near Hana, Maui is a great location for sunrise. It faces east so that the rising sun's for strays will strike it. On my recent trip to Maui, this was my first landscape location. I had driven the road to Hana the night before in darkness. The next morning I woke up and drove in darkness to the trailhead for Red Sand Beach. I then walked down the trail in darkness using my headlamp.

It wasn't until the sun came up several minutes later that I saw sunlight on the island of Maui for the first time. The clouds were illuminated for about 20 minutes before the actual sunrise. During this time I took several pictures from the beach looking east. My favorite one I have titled "Red Sand Beach:  Watercolor" because the beautiful color in the clouds is reflected in the water.

Red Beach, Maui Beautiful dawn photo taken on an orange-red partly cloudy sunrise.  The moon was a small spec in the sky, adding a little more admosphere.  The hike down in darkness was a nice prelude to the exciting sunrise that burst forth.
Red Sand Beach:  Watercolor, taken at dawn

Although it is not legal, I found two couples had camped out overnight on the beach. One woman had her sleeping bag directly on the sand. Next to her there were two empty liquor bottles. She rolled over quietly when she saw me arrive but did not stir after that!  The other couple were awake and enjoyed the sunrise with me. 

Here is a close-up of the red rocks on the beach.  There was finer sand in the water but higher up on the beach, the small rocks were very sharp and painful to walk on barefoot. I tried it but then decided to put my shoes on after saying "ouch" to myself 100 times. 

Closeup of the red and black rocks that cover Red Beach in Maui.  The beach is beautiful but these rough little rocks hurt to walk over.  All colors of red, pink, orange and black make up the unique color.
close-up/macro shot of the pebbles and rocks of Red Sand Beach, Maui

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Zebra Hoodoo

Zebra Hoodoo
 Zebra hoodoo in southwest Utah was a delightful find I had recently. I had been exploring a fairly remote canyon hoping to find some interesting formations. I was rewarded with this. I had a very fun time photographing this lovely hoodoo and enjoying the desert silence.  It actually snowed lightly while I was there.

House of Hoodoo
For scale, here is Zebra Hoodoo's partner along with the photographer

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Exploring Sidestep Canyon

Green, brown and white stripes cover everything in Sidestep Canyon

Sidestep Canyon is often overlooked because so many other world-class features are located between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah. However, taking time to explore this area is certainly rewarding. It's a fairly simple drive to the rim of Sidestep Canyon. Climbing down into the canyon is more of an adventure. There are no trails. Many of the rocks are rounded like the ones pictured above and jumping from one rock to another is not only the best way to travel but it is also quite fun. As you can see in the bigger picture above, Sidestep Canyon is quite deep and there is a lot to explore. Many impressive hoodoos are located on the north and south canyon walls. Within the canyon itself on are beautiful colored rocks, some with green, brown, red and white of course.

On this particular day, the sun was out and beautiful to begin the day. At the end of the day the class came in and it was snowing lightly. It did not become uncomfortable but the beautiful sunshine that Southwest is so famous for abandoned me. Before the sun departed, I was able to photograph a massive white hoodoo with the largest caprock I've seen. In the picture below, the caprock completely obliterated the sun as I took its picture.



Huge twisted and off-balance hoodoo of Sidestep canyon, in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  The underbelly of the cap rock is colored like flames.  The cap rock looks like it will make a huge fall sometime soon.