Image No. 26 thru No. 30 – Capitol Reef
After Canyonlands I traveled west to Capitol Reef National Park for a short visit, arriving early in the afternoon to find that the campground was already full. But by now after having traveled with Denis, it really doesn’t matter; just make different arrangements.
I headed to Sunset Point after asking the park ranger where it was best to photograph at that time and had a wonderful view looking east as the sun settled in the west. Then I turned around as it was setting and literally ran to where I saw a gnarled dead tree to put in front of a fiery group of clouds and in a few minutes was joined by a photo workshop who all gathered within inches around me on the ground shooting this same tree!! I learned then that I was not at Sunset Point, that it was a bit further down the road with a short hike to the actual spot!! If I had gone on down the road, I would never have seen this tree that the workshop leader obviously knew about and brought his group to after Sunset Point.
I made dinner there in the gathering darkness and afterward used the same tree to photograph the Milky Way while light painting the tree itself. The next morning, it was a quest to find the right dirt road to photograph the iconic Factory Butte.
I tried one road in the dark, but my instincts lead me to another that turned out to be the right one. I wanted to get there before the sun hit it to get a detail image of the eroded flanks and then the sunrise light across them. The wind was howling as the sun rose and I watched a storm approaching from the west which produced a small rainbow in front of the San Rafael Reef that I managed to capture but without much of a foreground. That was a bonus and luckily, the storm blew through but seemed to go completely around my location. I managed to get quite a few good images in a relatively short period of time at Capitol Reef and I decided to move on toward the Grand Staircase.