Catching up... / by Josh Trudell

 Calf Creek Falls in Escalante, Utah

Calf Creek Falls in Escalante, Utah

The blog’s not dead, Jim! (at least, not yet – although it seems to have been wearing a red shirt the last few months.)

It’s been pretty quiet on this front this spring and summer – I’ve been doing a lot of graphic design freelancing for various clients. It’s been fun (and thankfully at least a little profitable), but hasn’t led to much in the way of adventuring.

Amanda Palmer, in Austin, Texas

I did a little model photography and got to photograph Amanda Palmer in concert in Austin, both of which were fun. There’s been some work on a SUPER SECRET PROJECT (Shhhh), but that hasn’t come to fruition yet. Soon, with any luck.

I did pick up a spanking new lens – the Sony 16-35 Zeiss that I’ve been drooling over for a while. It’s still my favorite lens, and I used it extensively on my recent photo trip (see below).

Mostly it has been saving, experiencing and editing the results from this year’s photography trip – five days in Escalante, Utah with James Kay Photography. This is my second time out with Jim and Susie, and it was just as good as the first time, if not better.

I flew into Las Vegas and arrived in Zion National Park late that night for a couple of days of ambling preamble before starting out on the main part of the trip.

Having a day or two of solo exploring before starting my major shooting experience really helped me get in the right frame of mind to capture what I could of Escalante. It was a time to shed the work world and reconnect with my artistic side.

Arriving in Zion in late April has benefits and drawbacks – benefits are, there can still be snow on the peaks, which is beautiful. Drawbacks are, a lot of what was once on the peaks has now melted and made areas like the Narrows unreachable because of high water conditions.

Having done a little research before the trip, I was still able to find a couple of interesting locations, and a couple more with the help of Enlighten Photography Excursions. I’ve got to give my guide, Seth Hamel, major respect – even with a broken leg, he was leading us around the trails and pointing out different locations – spots I wouldn’t have seen on my own.

I need to come back and explore Zion more, but my favorite thing was the predawn hike I took to Observation Point, which overlooks the road leading up into the canyon. As the sun rises, it lights up the canyon. It is a slightly nerve-wracking hike before the sun comes up – bring a light! – but just the thing to whet the appetite for breakfast at Café Soleil (highly recommended).

After breakfast, I headed up Route 9 to 89 to 12, where I drove into Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon, near Rainbow Point. 

I hadn’t been to Bryce before – it’s lazy/time crunched photographer heaven. Following the road out to Rainbow Point led to one turnoff after another. Park the car, walk 10 feet, and there were fascinating shapes carved in the sandstone. 

The elevation was noticeable not only for the dusting of snow, but for the sucking of wind I was doing just from walking around. By the time I reached the 9,115 feet of elevation at Rainbow Point, my flatlander lungs were not impressed. But the sights were worth it, and the elevation proved to be good practice for the hiking later in the trip.

After a couple hours of that, I hopped back in the car and followed 12 up to Escalante, where I spent the rest of the week. (More on that in my next entry. Yes, I’m leaving this note here as a guilt trip to myself to write more frequently.)  

 In other news:  

All the best movies I’ve seen this year seem to have colons. The best has been Captain America: Civil War, followed by Star Trek: Beyond and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Let’s see that Wonder Woman movie soon, please.

The Red Sox are playing well – not sure if it will be well enough, though. It's hard to believe it is David Ortiz' last season - seems like it was just yesterday I was wondering who this guy was taking Jeremy Giambi's at-bats. Ha!

Wiser words than I have are being spilled by the tankerload on the Clinton-Trump campaigns. I'll skip that subject.