Tag Archives: rock

Slot canyons in Utah & Arizona

This is the top of a slot canyon. Doesn’t look like much. Not from the outside anyway…

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But all that changes on the inside. It’s like stepping into a different world, literally.

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Colour, form, texture, line, flow. A photographer’s paradise. Impossible not to feel awestruck.

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These are the slot canyons of Utah and Arizona; part of the photographic tour I lead to the US in October in conjunction with aspect2i.co.uk

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The beauty is all underground… I can’t wait to do it all over again in October 2017. If you fancy joining me, check out the dates and sign up!

Processed with Snapseed.

 

 


Beauty and Danger

 

 

Beauty and danger quite often go together, and that is certainly the case with the (in)famous slot canyons of Arizona. The beauty is quite astonishing; truly, one of the natural wonders of the world.

Slot canyon, Arizona.

 

These curves and waves have been petrified into the soft rock. The colour comes from the minerals; and the soft lighting from above makes the whole glow. It’s breath-taking & exquisite.

 

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Rock Lion

 

 

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Upper Antelope Canyon

 

 

These are not big canyons; 10-20 metres deep and pretty narrow. In some places I needed to take my camera bag off so I could squeeze through the gap. And therein lies the danger. Rain water, sometimes up to 30 miles off, can flash-flood through these canyons. You can’t outrun a flood, you can’t swim in it. The water, which creates all this fantastic beauty, will annihilate anything in its path.

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Lower Antelope Canyon

 

 

Lady in the rock

 

Is all this beauty worth the risk? For me, yes. But only after checking the weather forecast, very, very, carefully…

 

 

 


The earth moved for me last night!

We’ve just got back from our Cretan holiday which ended not with a bang, but a damn good shake! 6.30am, just as I was leaping out of bed to do my 10k, and blimey I lost my footing as the house began to shake rattle and roll. Earthquake – a real one!

Samaria gorge rock formation

Samaria gorge rock formation

 

I drank coffee while the rumbling settled down and reflected on the fact that I was sitting on the join between 2 tectonic plates: Africa pushing up against Europe. Quite a weight from the South…

Upheaval amongst the rocks

Upheaval amongst the rocks

 

And that’s one of the reasons why there are so many gorges on the south side of Crete, of which the best known is Samaria. The earth gets shoved up and the rivers cut through the rock resulting in some extremely dramatic landscape.

 

The earth is moving

The earth is moving…

and bending and folding...

and bending and folding…

 

Now I love a good rock formation (check out these Hebridean Gneiss!), so I couldn’t stop taking photos in Samaria whilst the rest of the family marched on ahead. Look at the stuff. 20 million years of drama and movement frozen into rock. Ah, the earth was moving for me. Awesome stuff!

Homage to a rock.

Homage to a rock.

 

 

 


A blustery weekend’s photography at the Seven Sisters

Photographers live in hope of interesting light, preferably with some good cloud formations, and a worthy subject. Well, the subject was certainly there, but the light was quite dull, and the clouds were behind me obscuring the sun. So I took the photograph more in hope than certainty. But I’ll remember the spot, and one day I will be there to photograph the cliffs bathed in gorgeous evening sunshine…

All these photos are from a photography weekend on the south coast, organised by Colin Westgate (Quest Photography – check it out), and hosted by Joe Cornish. The great thing about these weekends is that they encourage you to get out there regardless of the weather and make photographs anyway. So if the light’s poor, and the sun hiding, then that’s the time for long exposures of the waves riding up the beach.

Slow waves on the groyne

The Sunday was even colder and more miserable than the Saturday. But weirdly, it seemed better for photographs. I wonder why that it….? Perhaps the adverse conditions spur you on to look more closely for possible images. And with Colin and Joe looking on, you can’t just call it a day and disappear into the closest hostelry for a nice pint by the fireside. Photos must be taken! This one is a dinosaur’s egg (well, a stone), facing the cliffs on the beach. I was huddling around the tripod for this one, protecting it from the wind and the spray. It was chuffing cold…!

White stone egg

Eventually I retreated to the cliff and found this cave. Having set up the tripod again I was ready to take this pic when up bounds Joe, impervious to the biting cold. He climbs into the cave, and scales up the back wall to the ledge you can see in the centre of the image to photograph vertically straight down at the rocks. The unusual angle, the light falling into the image – it’s not so dramatic in my version pictured below. Ah, the man’s a master, he really is. (As soon as he’d hopped down and disappeared I was right up on that ledge copying the exact same shot. My masterpiece may be derivative, but hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! If you want to see it, have a look at my flickr page)

Cave in the chalk cliffs

Not that it was all hard work though. Here’s Colin busy studying the pebbles for a potential macro shot, once he can find his tripod…

The sun did peak through at last, so I managed one sunlit picture eventually. A nice reminder for what was a wonderfully stimulating weekend. Thanks to Colin and Joe for their words of encouragement and perceptive comments on our photos.