Advice on photo locations near Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Nature' started by anis, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Greetings,

    My friend and I are planning a photography trip near the las vegas area this
    july 4th weekend.

    Here is the locations we are planning to cover over a span of 5 days.

    1. Bryce National Park (and cover Yovimpa and Rainbow Point )
    2. Arches National Park (will try to cover Moab Fault, The Three Gossips,
    Sheep Rock, The Great Wall, Turret Arch, The Spectacles, Double Arch, Cache
    Valley, Wolfe Ranch, Double O Arch, Landscape Arch )
    3. Monument Valley
    4. Antelope canyon (with noon time tour)
    5. Death Balley

    I will take : Nikon D70, 18-70mm DX, 50mm f/1.4, 300mm f/4 with 1.4 TC and 4
    Gig CF with laptop to transfer
    My friend will have : Canon 20D, Canon 17-40mm f4 L, Canon 70-200mm f4 L,
    Canon 50mm f/1.8, 4 gig CF

    Is there any spots/locations we should consider as we picked these from
    various guide books etc? Also, is there any special precautions (heat,
    critters) we should consider?

    We hope to time the travel to be in these places before sunrise and sunset
    time frame.

    Thanks in advance. Any reply appreciated.

  2. Anis,

    You have more than enough for 5 days of shooting. I spent 5 days in Death Valley alone and it wasn't enough time. I'd shorten rather than lengthen the list. It's going to be very hot in some of those locations. Drink/take plenty of water. Some alternate locations very near Las Vegas include Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire but your plate is already too full.
  3. Thank you laurie, we will be willing to change the schedule (we have currently booked motels near each of those locations) to accomodate change based on advice. We figured that most of the good pics are going to be either sunrise or sunset timeframe. so all our travel is planned based on the sunrise/sunset times of those location.

    Here is a travalogue of that location by a photographer which we used as a template.
  4. Yep. You just packed too much for 5 days. Arches itself is so astonishing that I could have spent 5 days right there. I think you should reserve at least two days for arches, for the special sunrise/sunset momemnt shots over the arches. Spend a day at Zion and another at Bryce. That leaves only one day in hand and you can use it for Anetelop canyon. However, I don't know how you can manage that, since Arches is on far east Utah, Bryce/Zion is on far south-west and Antelope is on south-east. So be ready for a hectic driving. Otherwise, skip Bryce/Zion.
  5. If you only have 5 days and are based out of Las Vegas I would skip Arches. Drive time to and from will take up a lot of your time (but it is a pretty drive) I would stick closer to Vegas and spend more time taking photos. I would hit up Zion, Bryce, North Rim of the Grand Canyon and your Antelope tour. The crappy things about the southwest right now (besides the heat) are the fires/smoke. Bring more water than you imagine needing no matter where you go. We are going to hit 112 in Vegas this weekend (110 today) and Death Valley is going to be 124. I would not even consider a trip there in the's just to hot and not really worth risking your health. Have a great trip
  6. The problem with your intenrary is that you've left no time to really "see" a place. Rushing from point A to point B and shooting from the same overlooks and viewpoints as everyone else just isn't doing any of these wonderous parks justice. Of course, everyone has a different style and different preferences. For me, it usually takes about three days in a place before I feel like I "know" it well enough to take meaningful photos. I think you'll regret not giving yourself time to see more of these locations. There's much more than just the turnouts and scenic overlooks to shoot. Also, it's nice to get away from the tour groups and crowds. Somehow standing alone, or with only a friend, on the edge of a canyon is so much more appealing than leaning, shoulder to shoulder over a guard rail with the sound of the tour bus engine in the background.
  7. Hoover Dam is nice, if you are in to that sort of landscape! Carry lots of water and hydrate
    frequently. Have fun!
  8. I agree with others, way too much to do in 5 days. But I would consider doing the loop from
    Arches, Canyonlands, south to Natural Bridges, then north to Capitol Reef, Hogs Back,
    possibly Calf Creek Falls, then back to Hwy 70 and home. (there are a couple of neat places
    before Natural Bridges that are spectacular, another horeshoe bend overlook, and little
    monument valley)

    There are 4 maps of Utah broken into the 4 quadrants. NW, NE, SW, SE. Get the SE for sure
    and maybe the SW. You will have the time of your life in just those areas. and don't
    forget...water, water, water. and did I mention WATER!
  9. Most of the areas you want to see are really beautiful, but the best time to photogragh them is at sunrise and sunset, not during the day. If you go to Death Valley be ready for temps above 115 degrees. It's nasty there right now.
  10. Just read the weather for Death Valley, 122 degrees today. Ug! Also, keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms. It's a little early in the season, but it could happen. Needless to say you can get some amazing storm images.
  11. About 35 minutes ne of Vegas is a gem of a location call the "Valley of Fire" which a local photo shop turned me on to. Bright red rocks jumping out of the ground with a mono toned desert as a backdrop. I go there every time I visit Vegas. Some of my best shots ever are from there. It's so close to Vegas it would be a shame to miss it. The other locations you mention are spectacular but a considerable driving distance with the exception of Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. Arches is way too far to do in your allotted time frame. Page AZ offers the Slot Canyons, Horseshoe Bend, The Wave (permits necessary) Grand Staircase and Lake Powell, again these are a considerable distance. If you have already been to the Grand Canyon, stick with Valley of Fire, Bryce and Zion. If you have never visited the Grand Canyon, you should.
  12. way too much in your schedule. And if you want to hit things near Moab like Arches -- you should base in Moab. The drive from Vegas to do that, while pretty, will eat up a significant amount of shooting time. Trust me. I've been out there several times, and used to live in Vegas. Plus -- the time you're going isn't going to be ideal. The fires, the heat, the haze, the lack of water... I could go on. You're in for a rough trip if you try to do what you're proposing, and that's going to ruin your experience in such a unique region of the country. The only other thing is that there's no such thing as "too much water" -- pack as much as you can carry, and *drink* it. If you're thirsty, it could already be too late. And find somewhere cool during the height of the day -- not even scorpions are out admiring the scenery in mid-day. Good luck!
  13. Thank you all for the helpful tips. We have modified our schedule a bit (but we still have pretty packed itenerary. I will post the images once I am back. The primary objective of this is to hit a lot of the touristy spots during the sunrise/sunset times and drive during the day. We will be setting up seperate trips hopefully this year end to spend more time in those parks.

  14. Hello,

    I completed the trip and here is a travelogue for the trio

    My Photographs are in my portfolio.


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