False Kiva - Canyonlands National Park

False Kiva – Canyonlands National Park

We just wrapped up four amazing sold out workshops in southern Utah. Two months parked in the fast lane of hustling and bustling Moab made for some great photo opportunities and interesting experiences. We arrived well ahead of our workshop dates so that we could enjoy some hiking and site seeing. Brad also wanted to get out there and capture some images of his own, so when he slung his gear over his back and eagerly headed out to capture new footage, he was as giddy as a little kid! Everything was coming together…good weather, a clear dark night, and low crowds. If you have been following our posts, this is a rare occurrence indeed. So imagine being out there all night, in the cold, listening to the camera shutter open and close for hours and hours, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a drunken guy stumbles into the shot. “Hey dude”, yells Brad. And with not a care in the world, he proceeds to take a wiz right below the arch, and right in the middle of his time lapse sequence. With everything that could go wrong out there, he didn’t see that coming!

The North Window - Arches National Park

The North Window – Arches National Park

For our participants, this “Red Rock Wonderland” offered the most unique foregrounds of pinnacles and balanced rocks reaching towards the sky. Huge dramatic archways looked like portals to another world when our students captured the Milky Way rising through the dimly lit sandstone.  Each night, Brad took his group to some of his favorite sites that he and I scouted and day hiked in preparation for our eager students. Of course, what would an adventure be like without Mother Nature playing a few tricks on us?

Mesa Arch Moonrise - Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch Moonrise – Canyonlands National Park

Someone once said, look out your window long enough and you might see the weather change. Look even longer, and you will see the seasons change. Historically, springtime in this desert region should have given us mild weather and clear skies. It seems global climate change created unpredictable and unseasonal weather, so each workshop ended up with its own unique schedule. Thankfully, our participants understood the need for flexibility when attempting to capture their nightscape images. How wonderful it was when, with the threat of cloud cover, and making the hike up to Delicate Arch or Balanced Rock with heavy camera gear in tow, and in outright darkness, the clouds parted just in time to reveal the Milky Way in all her splendor. From the looks of some of the images they went home with, each natural wonder coupled with the beauty of dark skies, truly inspired and humbled both our novice and advanced students that came from all over the US and Canada.

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park

As posted in our last blog, we arrived during a wind storm that made maneuvering our box on wheels a little tricky. We quickly settled in on our tiny patch of sand like a can of RV sardines, and began to scope out Moab and its surrounding areas. One day I was perusing the local tourist shops and I met a lovely little lady named Maggie. She has lived her whole life here, married her high school sweetheart, and raised 5 children as she watched her sleepy community turn from a little settlement with a single dirt road, to a tourist mecca attracting dirt bikers, four-wheelers, hotrods, RV’ers, and jeep racers.

Garden of Eden - Arches National Park

Garden of Eden – Arches National Park

Now semi-retired, she began to reminisce about the massive changes that have taken place here in the last two decades or so. She pointed across the heavily trafficked road to a hotel and told me she was born in a big red barn now long gone, that her father homesteaded in the middle of a dusty valley, way before color or digital photography, paved roads, or cell phones. There is a long and colorful history in these parts, both native and later with permanent settlers establishing farms and ranches near the Colorado River. If you can manage to steal a moment away from the crowds, you can hear it in the wind as it flows in and out of the deep recesses of carved canyons. You can also see it during the “magic hours” as the sun hits the various stratospheres of layered sandstone, its magnificent red and orange tones pulsating like hot embers deep within an open fire.

Zodiacal Light - Arches National Park

Zodiacal Light – Arches National Park

Spring has sprung, filling in the cottonwood trees with bright foliage and blocking our satellite signals.  As I write this blog, a light rain is washing the RV, and rolling thunder echoes through town, making it a perfect day to stay inside and get some much needed rest. Sleep is on the agenda before packing up our humble home and heading up to the mountains. We will stop by Las Vegas for a re-supply and do some RV maintenance, and then we head north to our next adventure in the High Sierra’s; amid the familiar scents of thick forested lodge pole pines and smoke from controlled campfires. We are finding life inside an RV is very manageable as we settle into our new routine and continue living our nomadic dream!

Milky Way - Arches National Park

Milky Way – Arches National Park

We are almost completely sold out of our workshops for 2014! Remember, NO WORKSHOPS ARE PLANNED FOR 2015 so visit goldpaintphotography.com/workshops before all the spots are taken!

Marci & Brad

mrkittyGood Kharma Kitty Blogging

Are you talkin’ to Me-ow? Listen, in my younger days, I was a great hunter. My 15 years of sneaking around, eating and barfing up fresh grass, showing off by licking my butt, and leaving cat hair on every imaginable surface has taken its toll. Now days I must be content to perch myself on the kitchen table and watch those tasty flying snacks tease me from the outside window bird feeder. The Queen must be entertained you know. And why must I wait for you to clean out my litter box? The maid service in this place sucks!

Questions, comments, want to know more about something? Leave them below and we will do our best to respond!