Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

TRIP REPORT: Spring Break family trip to Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Page, Bryce and Zion

TRIP REPORT: Spring Break family trip to Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Page, Bryce and Zion

Old Apr 4th, 2008, 07:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
TRIP REPORT: Spring Break family trip to Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Page, Bryce and Zion

Trip Report to Arizona and Southern Utah, March 14-25.

Our family (parents and two teenage boys) had a terrific spring break trip beginning in Phoenix and returning from Las Vegas. This is a long report! I want to thank all of you who gave us advice and posted your own trip reports and suggestions. Weather: temperatures varied from around 80 in Phoenix to the teens at night at the Grand Canyon, from cloudless sunny days to a blizzard and hail in Sedona.

Although the Park lodging isnít perfect, we prefer to stay right in National Parks, or, if not possible, in the least built up area nearby. Weíre from a big city and need a change!

Day 1: We arrived at the Phoenix airport about an hour late, having waited on the runway at JFK for a mystery plane to land. It turned out to be Air Force One, and our pilot told us that all three NYC airports had no takeoffs or landings during the time we waited. We picked up our rental car and drove immediately to Frank Lloyd Wrightís Taliesin West. We took the 90 minute tour, which was a great introduction to Wrightís life, architectural philosophy and school, and to the desert landscape around the property. It was hotóin the 80s at Taliesin, although it cooled to the 50s later in the evening. From there we went to Carefree Resort and Villas, about a half hour drive north, for the night so we could get an early start north in the morning and also to bit a bit closer to the desert. Our room was large and comfortable, but it was supposed to have a ďpremier view,Ē which turned out to be a view right into the dining room; no other ďpremierĒ rooms were available however. There was also a loud sound of rushing water from the air conditioner pipes all night, which kept us awake, but when I complained at the front desk in the morning, we were graciously offered complimentary breakfast. For dinner, we enjoyed going to the Horny Toad, a couple of miles away, which in addition to families was filled with men in cowboy hats and couples in leather motorcycle gear.

Day 2: After breakfast, we drove through the brilliant Southwest landscape, admiring the saguaro cacti on the way, to Montezumaís Castle, where we bought the annual National Parks pass for $80-- worth it since we intended to visit not only National Parks but National Monuments and other areas covered by the pass. I calculated that we would have spent more than $120 if we paid for admissions at each park individually on this trip. This was our first introduction to the ruins of Native American architecture, which are so beautifully dramatic and mysterious. From there we went to V Bar V Ranch Petrogylph Site, equally powerful. We ended up in Sedona for a late lunch at the Coffee Pot restaurant, a great choice for us. I had written down a list of restaurants in Sedona before our trip, but unfortunately didnít write the addresses, so we had to search for them. We then checked into our room at Sky Ranch Lodge, which had a fabulous view of the Coffee Pot rock formation. At first, everyone was a little disappointed with the dated room and very tight fit with two queens and a rollaway bed, in spite of the view and the fireplace, but we grew to like it very much. After a few passes by, we found a parking spot at the trailhead for Airport Mesa trail (the National Parks pass provided for free parking at the Red Rock trailheads) and hiked around the mesa, which took about two hours on the 3.6 mile trail. On this first hike, my younger son was very nervous about the drop offs, but it turned out to be a way for him to conquer his fears and he then had no trouble with even steeper drop offs hiking at the Grand Canyon and Zion. At the trailhead, we watched a number of people climb to the summit of one of the rocks where the vortex is supposedly found; we personally didnít experience any change in energy, but there seemed to be a lot of believers waiting to be transported? After the sunset viewed from our patio, we went to Pizza Picazzo, which was extremely busy on a Saturday evening. Our supposed 40 minute wait stretched into an hour; just as one son got a nosebleed from the dry air, and I rushed him into the bathroom, almost knocking down a woman coming out, the pager indicating an empty table finally went off . Hint for Saturday nights: go before sunset or order take out pizza in advance.

Day 3: We left our packed bags in the room because we had to move three doors down to another room without a fireplace for the night.. We went back to the Coffee Pot for breakfast, and then visited the helpful people at the Chamber of Commerce/Ranger station for suggestions about hikes. Snow was predicted for the day, so our plan to hike the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon was cancelled; the ranger said it was already snowing there and the trail was closed. She gave us some other ideas, so we first did the Boynton Vista trail, another vortex site with a great view after a short, steep trail. It started snowing when we reached the summit. By the time we reached the next trailhead, for Fay Canyon trail not far away, it was snowing hard and very windy. My husband and older son decided to hike it, and since it was a protected canyon, they said it was a peaceful, beautiful hike. My other son and I huddled in the car for the hour they were away, watching the crazy tourists who paid money to go in the open-to- the-hail jeeps pass by. I have to comment that a tour group that takes good money from tourists during a snow storm to drive in an open jeep whose seats face in is taking advantage of their clients! At this time, we learned later, blizzard conditions caused a whiteout on the highway west of Flagstaff, creating a hundred-car pile up with several deaths, a horrible, tragic accident. While it was sunny and around 60 degrees in Sedona the day before, now it was in the 20s.

After stopping at Safeway, we went back to our new room at Sky Ranch Lodge for a picnic lunch, then chose another hike in the snow, this time the Wilson Canyon Trail on 89A just north of the bridge. Although I knew nothing about this trail, it turned out to be a lovely hike, crossing over a creek several times; the trail was covered by snow between our hikes in and out. Our pants were splattered with mud so we decided to do a laundry at the lodge. This evening we went to Casa Bonita for a pretty good Mexican dinner.

Day 4: The snow had stopped and covered the rocks surrounding Sedona. We drove up 89A through Oak Creek Canyon, which was beautiful in the snow. After stopping at the viewpoint at the top of the canyon, we arrived in Flagstaff and went to the Museum of Northern Arizona, which has terrific exhibitions on the geology and archeology of the area. One temporary exhibition was based on the discovery of a dinosaurís claw in the region of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A few days later, we were thrilled to meet one of the discoverers of the claw when we visited one of the four visitor centers for that park north of Page. After an hour or so at the museum, we stopped at the La Bellavia Restaurant for lunchóa good choice in a funky university neighborhood.

We drove a little bit on Route 66 in Flagstaff for nostalgia reasons, past the drive in restaurants and some old motels. The loop off 89 for Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments was also a fabulous drive. We visited the park headquarters in each, took a short (cold) walk at Sunset Crater, and also stopped at the beautiful ruins of Wukoki Pueblo, which I highly recommend seeing and where one son did several drawings. We then stopped at the Cameron Trading Post on 89 just north of the turnoff for the east entrance to Grand Canyon. This was a large store but very touristy and we didnít find it worth the stop at all. I preferred the Native American crafts and jewelry offered in the shops at the Grand Canyon, especially in Hopi House. At Cameron, we were told the drive to Grand Canyon village would be 1 Ĺ hours; I donít think itís very convenient to stay in Cameron to make day trips in to see the Grand Canyon. The drive to the east entrance appeared to be winding next to the Grand Canyon, but we learned later that the canyon there is a side canyon. It wasnít until we entered the park, and we stopped at Desert View, that we saw the magnificent view of the Grand Canyon. We had hoped to climb the tower, but it was just after closing of the stairs at 5:30 pm.

From there it was another half hour drive to Thunderbird Lodge where we were staying. We checked in at Bright Angel. Our second floor room facing the canyon was small but very quiet, with a nice view (even though over the roof of the first floor rooms), and a fridge, coffee maker and TV (which we rarely used). Rollaways are not allowed in Thunderbird or Kachina next door because the rooms are too small. Kachinaís second floor rooms overlooking the canyon would be even better, I think. Our biggest complaint at Thunderbird (and it was true at Lake Powell Resort , run by Aramark not Xanterra, and at Zion Lodge as well) is that the bottom sheet is flat, not fitted, and the mattress pad under it doesnít cover the entire mattress, so we usually awoke lying partially on a bare mattress.

Since the wait for the Bright Angel dining room after sunset was more than one hour, we walked over to Maswik Cafeteria, which we donít particularly recommend.

Day 5: From our window, I watched people hurrying along the rim to a viewpoint just east of El Tovar beginning about 45 minutes before sunrise, but I didnít want to go out in the coldóaround 20 F. This morning we had breakfast at Bright Angel and then took the shuttle bus to the Visitorís Center, and attended the ranger talk on Geology. We learned that the South Kaibab trail still had some ice on the first quarter mile, although less than the Bright Angel trail. The ranger suggested we go look at it to see if we would feel comfortable hiking down the next day, so we took the shuttle to the trailhead and saw the sign that said ice crampons were recommended. We took the shuttle back to Pipe Creek Vista and walked to Yavapai along the rim and visited the newish museum/observation station there. In the afternoon, we waited for at least half an hour on line as three packed shuttles to Hermitís Rest passed. Much of this drive will be closed off soon for the rest of the summer since the road is being repaired. The crowds this week before Easter were enormous. We finally got on a shuttle to the Abyss from where we hiked to Pima Point and then picked up the shuttle for the drive back to the Village. Some of this rim hike is very close to the edge of the canyon and we began to feel a little queasy. Since it was getting late in the day, we saw mule deer and elk from the bus just west of the village. Even more exciting was the condor (#23) we found sitting in a tree just past Kolb Studio. Surprisingly, real condors often attend the late afternoon ranger talk on condors given daily in this location; one ranger said this may be because they see a crowd gathered quietly at the rim and think this may be a good spot to find a carcass (why else would a crowd gather?). We drove to Yavapai cafeteria for dinner and then walked over to Shrine of the Ages for the evening ranger talk on bobcats.

Day 6: We decided to wait until later in the morning to start the hike below the rim, hoping the ice might melt a bit. We bought (very expensive but thoroughly worthwhile) ice crampons at the Market. By the way, although they have lots of camping equipment for rent there (tents, sleeping bags, stoves, backpacks), they donít rent ice crampons. We got to the South Kaibab trailhead around 10:45 am. The trail became even icier after the first switchback. We watched a man ahead of us start down, fall on his bottom, and slide. The two women just ahead of us immediately sat down and went crablike and sliding down. Since we had crampons, we thought we would be okay, but at times we had to sit down and slide or crawl as well. I found this the most terrifying part of the hike, and was so happy when we reached the part of the trail without ice. When we left the trailhead the temperature was in the 50s, but it was in the 70s down at Phantom Ranch. We hiked down to Cedar Ridge (one and a half miles into the canyon, about 1200 feet elevation loss), used the rest rooms and ate our picnic. On the way, the mules who bring supplies down to Phantom Ranch passed us; they wear a form of ice crampon on their hooves too and seem to have no problem with the ice. Another group of mules with riders passed us coming from the bottom. Hiking back up was easier and faster than I had expected; Iím not in great shape, and our sons were impatient with us, but I was the tortoise not the hare and had no problem. Happily, by the time we reached the end, the ice had turned a bit slushy. Hikers without crampons though were still sliding. Most people follow the etiquette of allowing the hikers coming from below to pass as they wait but as I got half way up one of the icy switchbacks, a very large man started barreling down. I imagined him falling, hitting me like a large boulder and we both would roll to our deaths, so I pressed against the side of the canyon until he passedóand I didnít look back to see what happened to him. This was my favorite hike of the whole trip, possibly because I had been anticipating it for so long, and I really hope to return to hike to Phantom Ranch some day. In spite of the ice, Iím glad we hiked during this time of year; I canít imagine doing it in the heat of the summer.
We had dinner at Bright Angel this evening.

Day 7: We got up early to brave the cold wind and watch the sunrise from the rim. After passing a coyote by the side of the road and stopping to climb the stairs at the Desert View tower, we drove to Page, where we signed up for the 1:00 pm Chief Tsosieís tour to Upper Antelope canyon and had a picnic lunch in the Page Municipal Park. By the way, gas in Arizona was much cheaper than buying gas in Utah or Nevada. Since we had extra time before the tour, we drove all around Page, wondering what it would be like to live there. The tour, with Vere as guide, was terrific, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. Vere helped everyone with photo tips and finding the best locations for photos (this canyon has probably been photographed more than Monument Valley has been filmed). We didnít return to Page until about 3:00, and after stopping at the Best Dam View we rushed over to the Glen Canyon Dam visitor center for the dam tour, but the last tour of the day, at 3:30, was already full. The visitor center was interesting and a park service volunteer gave us good directions for a hike the following day to the Toadstools, off 89 on the way to Kanab.

We stayed at Lake Powell Resort, in building 7 in a second story balcony room as had been recommended on this site. It had a wonderful view of the lake and was comfortable, although it does have connecting doors so there was a little noise from the room next door. After seeing all the hotels and motels in Page, I was glad we stayed here because of the view and proximity to the lake. We did another load of laundry at the campground just up the road, watched the enormous rabbits on the grass, and drove back into Page for dinner at Fiesta Mexicana, which was okay. We also went to the Walmart in Page, hoping to find gloves to replace the ones I lost at the Grand Canyon (no luck, only spring merchandise out). The night sky really is fabulous here; we saw what looked like a star explode and fall before it disappeared. The Lake Powell area was warm, in the 60s during the day, but I anticipated that it would be much colder at Bryce.

Day 8: After an expensive breakfast of muffins and coffee from the coffee bar in the lounge at the Lake Powell Resort, we drove to the Grand Staircase Escalante ranger station on 89 in Utah, where as I mentioned there was a good exhibition on the dinosaur excavations in the park, and where the park manager was really informative. We took the hot but fun hike to the Toadstools, about 1 Ĺ mile roundtrip, where part of Planet of the Apes was filmed (also filmed at Lake Powell). At Kanab we stopped at the supermarket and for lunch at the Rewind Café. This was a movie themed retro diner with good food but extremely slow service. Then we drove on to Bryce, where we stopped at the visitor center, of course, and talked to a ranger about which trails were open in the snow. Luckily Navajo Loop and Queenís Garden Trail was open although very slushy and muddy, and we planned to take the trail the following day. We went to the Sunrise Point overlook for our first view of the amphitheatre. We drove on to the town of Tropic, where we stayed in a beautiful B&B, Stone Canyon Inn, which we highly recommend. The inn is about a 15 minute drive to Bryce, but a world away from Rubyís; in fact it is more than a mile from rt. 12 so isolated with wonderful views. I was very glad we didnít stay at Rubyís, although I guess it might be sort of fun for small children at its fake frontier town. (The Lodge in Bryce doesnít open until April 1). We had dinner at the Pizza Place in Tropic and enjoyed the B&B, including the full moon rise from our room.

Day 9; After a delicious breakfast, we packed up and drove into Bryce for the hike down through Wall Street, and back up Queenís Garden, which took about two hours. Although it was cold, in the upper 20s (and I needed gloves), it was a beautiful hike with the snow covering the hoodoos. We cleaned our boots at the pump before getting back in the car.

Afterwards we ate a picnic lunch shivering outside and then drove on to Zion, entering through the east entrance. My sons loved going through the tunnel. Of course we first went to the Visitor Center, where we were disappointed to learn that there were no ranger talks scheduled in Zion until the end of April. Even at Bryce, there were two talks per day at this time on Geology. Zion was so busy during the three days we were there that Iím surprised the park service didnít respond. Iím a huge supporter of the Park Service and a big fan of the rangers.

At Zion Lodge we stayed in one of the few green suites. This was perfect for us: it is two large rooms on the second floor with one balcony. One son slept on a rollaway and the other on the pullout couch in the living room, and we had a king bed in the bedroom. I canít imagine putting two people on the pullout couch since it really sagged in the center. There were sinks in each room, a refrigerator, and a separate bathroom with toilet and shower. The Lodge gives two complimentary mugs to guests in suites which we could use to get free coffee in the morning in the lobby. It is a cold, dark walk there at 7:00 AM in March. We faced the back, close up to the canyon walls, so it was dark in the room too except when we came back at lunch time and found the balcony in full sun. But it was also very quiet, a good thing during the very busy Easter weekend. There was a lot of construction going on around the cabins because new sidewalks had just been installed and there is going to be new landscaping, but it is now all dirt, so we didnít miss anything looking out on the back. And we were able to see mule deer come down to graze at twilight and a ringtail walk across the balcony area.

We were exhausted by the combination of lots of driving and hiking, and the changes in altitude, and we had to take several naps while in Zion.

The park shuttle had just begun running the day before we arrived, meaning that park visitors canít drive to the Lodge, but guests who stay at the Lodge get a parking pass that allows you to drive there, so you can drive in and out of the park to Springdale. If we had stayed in Springdale, we would have had to leave our car there, or at the Visitor Center (whose parking lot was full from 10:00 until 3:00 every day). As it was, we used the shuttle to go further into the canyon for hikes, but drove to Springdale for dinner each night. I loved being right in the park, and even though some of the motels in Springdale looked nice, they were still in a town next to the road, not surrounded by National Park.

We ate dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle, which was inexpensive and delicious, and only about a 10 minute drive from the Lodge. Enjoyed the choices of microbrews including the Polygamy Porter, whose motto is ďWhy have just one?Ē

Day 10: In the morning we left around 9:00 before the crowds to hike to Middle Emerald Falls, then on to Upper (which we enjoyed all alone and took photos of the rainbow at the waterfall) and finally down to Lower Emerald Falls. By then the trail was crowded, but we hiked Kayenta trail to the Grotto, where we caught a shuttle back to the Lodge. Even though it was March, I really wanted to hike the Narrows, and had found that the Zion Adventure Company rents body suits to wear in the cold water. But a ranger told us they discouraged it now, because the river is high with snowmelt, chest high in places. After lunch on our balcony, we took the shuttle to the Riverside trailhead. The trail was packed with people all the way to the Narrows, and we could see some people had waded (in the 45 degree water), a little ways up the Narrows but we decided not to do that.
We looked at the menus at a Oscarís, Spotted Dog and Bit and Spur, but we decided to eat dinner at Zion Pizza and Noodle again.

Day 11: We hiked to Scoutís Lookout in the morning. After reading Death in Grand Canyon, my husband has some vertigo on the trail up and none of us had the courage to hike to Angelís Landing, but there were a lot of people going on Angelís Landing. We were all very wary about hiking on trails at Zion that the Park Service described as places where fatalities had occurred, although I know that the vast majority of people hiking do so safely.

In the afternoon, we drove to the ghost town of Grafton south of Springdale, which is a Mormon town deserted in the 19th century and really interesting to wander around. We then began the Watchman trail from the Visitor Center but even though it was only in the upper 70s, this trail was very hot, sunny and dry after the first bit next to the river, and we ran out of energy after about 40 minutes, so turned back.

We bought sandwiches in Springdale and took them back to the Lodge for dinner. We then took a peaceful last walk along the river from the lodge to the Grotto at twilight. We were rewarded with close looks as a large herd of mule deer grazing who then crossed the river toward us, but we moved on so as not to disturb them. We also watched two ambulances and about ten Park vehicles returning from a rescue (I hope) further up the canyon.

Day 12: Drove to the airport in Las Vegas, a three hour drive, leaving enough time to drive down the stripóthat was fun and plenty of LV for me. Loved our trip and learned so much about geology, Native American history and new places to hike in beautiful National Parks.
sms73 is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,712
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi sms,

Thanks for the report! It sounds like you had a great time. Did you see the wild turkey in Zion? One of my favorite things about the park. Glad you liked Zion Pizza and Noodle - I always go there.

Dayle is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:07 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, we saw loads of wild turkeys in Zion. The shuttle bus had to stop for them when they were on the road.
sms73 is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:31 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enjoyed your report. I'm still hoping to get to the GC w/ my family. Twice now we've had reservations there and had to cancel.
kansasmom is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great report! I admire your courage on hiking the icy canyon trail. I don't think I could do that!
sunbabe is online now  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bookmarking to use for help on my trip
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:45 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,079
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the detail! Much appreciated!
Kristinelaine is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 12:14 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Thanks for the report. Brings back memories of my trip of last year.

Are your photos posted anywhere?
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 01:57 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, we haven't posted the photos (yet). Yours are so terrific that our wouldn't be able to compete! If we do post, will let you know.
sms73 is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 03:06 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,977
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry about weather in Sedona on Palm Sunday -- it was a bummer for sure. Snow + fog = whiteout.

Today: temperature 65, visibility unlimited, hardly a cloud in the sky.
USNR is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 03:18 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,502
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds great! Thanks for posting the report.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 04:59 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
sms73,

Posting photos is not a competition.

Looking at other people's photos brings back memories thru the eyes of others.

Always nice to see it thru that perspective.

Thanks again for the report.
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 05:55 AM
  #13  
OO
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi sms...loved your report. Made me want to schedule another trip immediately!

We too enjoy staying in the park...far prefer that to town. Zion is beautiful when the majority of the people have left and you feel as if it's "all yours". It is so peaceful.

Your icy hike on Kaibab sounds frightening indeed. We've been on Bright Angel with some ice and no crampons. I know the feeling of relief when you get below it and you only have rubble to contend with! The hike feels like a piece of cake compared to the icy stretches.

I hope you got lots of pictures of Sedona in the snow, and will post them. It must have been beautiful.
OO is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 09:06 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sms
Thanks for all the detail you provided! I'm headed to Bryce and Zion next week and you've given me a broader view of where to go and what to expect. I hiked the icy South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon last year and was only a bit nervous going down. By the time I hiked back up, I was petrified. I hugged the wall all the way. I was very surprised by my reaction to the trail dropoffs, but I couldn't do anything about it except cringe and keep moving. I'm going back for more this year!
roundthebend is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 09:14 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your trip report. I have been to Sedona but not north of Flagstaff and would like to do Zion and Bryce in the future.
ncounty is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 09:52 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your report. I always enjoy reading about the experiences of others in my favorite places. We just returned from a 9-day trip to Zion and loved every minute of it. We have gone every year (sometimes twice a year) since 2000, usually staying at the lodge inside the park. Zion provides a perfect retreat.
elnap29 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 05:18 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Myer: You're right about the photos, and I'll try to post them sometime soon. I have some good ones of people sliding down the South Kaibab trail. The snow covered rocks in Sedona were beautiful too.

sms73 is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 05:19 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
sms,

I'm not any better at photographing trips than anybody else.

I probably have a better camera than some and have developed what I think is a good, realtively fast post-processing workflow. Makes all the difference
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 06:13 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,079
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"I probably have a better camera than some and have developed what I think is a good, realtively fast post-processing workflow. Makes all the difference"

I would be interested to know how you do this. I am always so slow about getting my photos in order after a trip.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 07:32 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Kristine,

I didn't say I was fast. I just said my workflow was relatively fast.

Going digital several years ago has caused an explosion of photos to be tasken. My camera is 2 1/2 year old (starting to get aged) and I've taken over 10,000 photos with it.

My SW trip to Bryce, Zion, GC and Sedona last year resulted in almost 700 photos for a seven day trip.

Deciding which to put on my web site (www.travelwalks.com) took the most time. I finally got fed up and stop cutting down. I ended up with 124.

I then post-process every one. That's the part I am now relatively fast at.

I do not do creative things with the photos such as changing skies, etc. I just try to make them look like what I saw.

Most people look at their photos and are disappointed. That's because your camera can't record what you really saw.

A good example of this would be an indoor photo without a flash. Your eyes correct the color but the camera records the image with a very warm, yellow cast.

Another example would be a scene where one side is in bright sun while the other is in shadows. Your eyes adjust to the lighting as you scan the scene. Your camera just records an average and the bright side is blown out while the shadowed side is too dark to really see.

Your eyes are fantastic.

A typical digital photo has some shadowed areas that are too dark, very bright areas that are washed out and glary and the whole image is somewhat not sharp enough.

Also, what you see is usually a much wider angle than what you record.

Ordinary point-&-shoot digital cameras attempt to correct for this by guessing what you were trying to do. Sometimes they guess correctly and sometimes not.

A good SLR camera, in addition to having a much better lens and sensor, allows you to set the camera not to do any guessing. I can then do what I want after.

If you look at my recent trip photos (the ones taken digitally) you'll see most of the bright areas are not blown out and glary. You can see the detail. That's what makes 75% of the difference IMO.

There are many approaches to enhancing this. I have merely selected one.

In some posts a while back I taught some people on this board some fairly quick ways to improve their photos. Of course you need either Photoshop (expensive) or I think recent versions of Photoshop Elements (not too expensive) have these commands.

No magic.
Myer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:36 AM.