Friday, January 2, 2015

Sandy's Moab

We decided to separate our images for the Moab blog.  No, we didn't have a fight; we just wanted to show Moab as it was seen by the individual and not have one camera type compete or be compared with the other. 

It's been 12-months since I got the Sony A7r and gave up the Canon 1DsIII and couldn't be happier.   Lighter weight, smaller and high resolution are all things that were on the wish list and all were met. 

Since we live near Tucson Arizona the drive to Moab takes us through the Navajo Nation near Chinle, AZ.  Driving Route 191 north takes you through a diverse scenic landscape dotted that hasn't seen change in years; vast countryside dotted with sandstone monuments and a horizon that stretches for miles.  Time it right and you'll encounter stunning sunrise or sunsets. 

We were fortunate enough to experience the tail end of a stunning sunrise as we made our way north into Utah and Moab.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (24mm) f/4 1/160 ISO 50

We timed our arrival in the Moab area getting there late morning driving out to Anticline Overlook which is approximately 25-miles off Route 191.  The road is marked at the beginning for Needles and Anticline with Anticline being the furthest.  After viewing both overlooks we like the view from Anticline the best and decided to go there.  The road is part paved and part hard packed dirt with the majority covered in a combination of snow, ice and in some spots mud.  However, the view is worth the trouble. 

We decided to park and walk into the area where this tree was located, a short uphill walk off the road to the overlooks. 
Sony A7r FE24-70 (39mm) f/4.5 1/250 ISO 50

And then there's the view from Anticline Overlook at high-noon

Sony A7r FE24-70 (43mm) f/8 1/250 ISO 50

The following day was spent exploring the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  One of the neat things to see is Newspaper Rock State Park on the drive to Needles.  Best time to photograph this unique spot is in the morning as the sun is rising. You might also want to bring a wide lens with you.

Sony A7r FE16-35 (16mm) f/11 1/200 ISO set to auto (2000)

Walk off the path in Needles and you'll find an Ancestral Puebloan granary tucked into a ledge above a dry wash.  We learned the area around Needles has dozens of similar storage yet few dwellings.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (66mm) f/22 1/3200 ISO set to auto (6400)

The rest of our too short stay was taken up visiting Arches National Park where we visited Park Avenue ...

Sony A7r FE24-70 (48mm) 3-shot panorama f/5.6 1/100 ISO 50

Here's a sample of the vastness of Arches with Don walking to capture a landscape shot with his technical camera.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (70mm) f/0 1/100 ISO 50. 
(Notice this was shot as tight as I could with the lens at 70mm)

Travel north on Route 191 and you will come to a road leading to Dead Horse State Park and Islands in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  The drive to both takes you through beautiful scenery filled with views of sandstone walls, arches and  the LaSalle Mountains in the distance.  Don't be in a hurry and try the many turnoffs along the way. 

We stopped at Dead Horse State Park as Don wanted to try to capture the stunning views.  Sadly both of us were disappointed that morning as the conditions just weren't as good as we'd like; however this is still a great place to visit.

Tree growing out of the rock near the overlook at Dead Horse.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (39mm) f/8 1/500 ISO set to auto (4000) 

This is what you're left with when the landscape isn't working for you.  The first shot is what Don was doing with his Phase One DF/IQ180 attempting to get a very low level image.  The second is my attempt at the same thing without the use of the groundpod.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (48mm) f/4 1/250 ISO 125

Leaving Dead Horse State Park we ventured into Islands in the Sky and were fortunate enough to have Mesa Arch all to ourselves which is unheard of--what a treat!

Sony A7r FE24-70 (24mm) f/8 1/4000 ISO set to auto (2000) 2-shot panorama. 

We couldn't be in the Islands in the Sky District without stopping at the Green River Overlook which didn't disappoint us.  Disclaimer here - while it looked great this is more of an artist rendering rather than the actual conditions...

Sony Ar7 FE24-70 (41mm) f/11 1/500 ISO 640

 Don sitting down on the job at the Grand View Overlook.

We had one last morning before heading to the South Rim, Grand Canyon and decided to spend it back at Arches.  The morning was a combination of rain, snow and low clouds with fog.  Simply great conditions to capture an image at Garden of Eden

Sony Ar7 FE24-70 (30mm) f/8 1/25 ISO 50

A note on processing.  All images were first opened in Capture One Pro where they were viewed and graded.  We also did slight processing in C1 such as lens correction and in some cases working on highlights and shadows.  The files we liked were saved in a Tiff format before sending them to Photoshop CC where they were opened, and processed using a combination of NIK Software before they were saved as Jpegs.  I'm very pleased with the Moab portion of the trip as I came away each day with at least one gallery print that will be posted to our web gallery for sale. 

What do I think of the Sony A7r after one-year?  I love it.  Lightweight small body with a combination of equally lightweight lens that allow me to shoot handheld most of the time.  The combination of the FE lenses, 70-200, 24-70 and 16-35 all give the focal length I desire.  Having the much higher resolution also helps. 

Thank you for visiting.  Don says he'll post his views of Moab shortly.

One last image of the walking bridge north of Moab as it crosses the Colorado River.

Sony A7r FE24-70 (24mm) f/6.3 1/125 ISO 50


Sandy (and Don)




  1. Tree Growing out of rock Dead horse is my favorite.
    Thanks for visiting!

  2. Beautiful...makes you feel like you are there experiencing it.

  3. Thank you both for visiting! Moab is a very special/beautiful place.