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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah | Gregory Chong Photography
 
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Bryce Canyon National Park was not on our list of places to photograph. We had a day to kill so we decided to scope it out for a future return. We found a picture on 500px.com that we really liked, however, we knew the picture wasn’t quite true. It was more of a winter shot with snow on the ground. In the end, We decided to see what we could get in the middle of summer.

Driving there was about 2 hours from Page, AZ. Easy drive. However, the storm clouds seem to follow us. Because Bryce is at 8000′ elevation, it was colder than the valley. Luckily, I did bring some convertible pants as well as my nano puffy jacket and a hoodie. I needed them in the end. We scoped out Sunset Point for the sunrise shot. We tried to figure out the angle and location where the picture we saw on 500px was taken from. We believed we found it and then we didn’t. We saw Thor’s Hammer, another well known icon of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Our hotel reservation was all the way back in Hurricane, 2 hours away. I was getting myself ready to make the drive early in the morning and then back too. We decided to try to find a hotel nearby Bryce and possibly eat the penalty of the no show at the Hurricane hotel. We finally managed to find a room. I called the Comfort Inn in Hurricane to see if I can switch the day we were coming in without penalty. They front desk lady was super nice about it and allowed me with no penalty to change the arrival date. The hotel in Bryce was at a roach motel, but we call it fly motel because of the dead fly on the shower stall floor. We had no choice. There was no vacancy anywhere else nearby. The comforter was from the 70s! We ripped off the comforter. The white sheets underneath were white and clean looking, however. Since we didn’t get to Toroweap and use our camping gear, we at the very least used our sleeping bags to keep us warm.

We woke early for sunrise. Ken was starting to understand why we have to leave so early to get the shot. It is the light. There is a lot of planning involved. We got out there and started shooting away. We were both hopeful we would get a sunstar as the sun rose above the distant mountain range. After the sun rose and thinking we got some good pictures, another photographer came by. He was showing us a picture he took and was very proud of. It was a very good composition. His name was Lonnie Shull. I found him on the various social media sites and his own website. He was nice to contact me as well and like my photography page on facebook.

Because sunrise was at around 5:30am, we had some time to kill. We decided to hike the sunset point trail. We tried to get creative with our photography.

I also photographed Ken when he was photographing. I got some good Bokeh!

He then photographed me. It turned out so well, I made it one of my cover photos.

On the trail toward the end, there was a wild chipmunk eating some of the left over flesh of an orange someone left behind. He was so into that orange, we both managed to photograph him. I managed to photograph him where the sun was behind him and was able to light up the edge of his fur to create a halo effect. Afterwards, we made our way back to the fly motel, cleaned up, packed, and began to head back to Hurricane.

Based on the number of photos in this blog post, I’d say we did get some very good shots!

~Greg

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