Last week we went to St. George, Utah. It was a family vacation and so opportunities for landscape photography had to work around the family schedule. However, it was great for Karen and I to get away with two of our daughters and two grand-daughters.
The first evening in St. George the sky was blanketed with beautiful clouds as the sun set behind the mountains and mesas around the small city. The sunset wasn't one of those with Kodachrome like colors but there were dramatic shades of light and dark in the clouds of which I processed some as black and white photographs.
The next day when I finally got away in the morning the sky was still filled with puffy white clouds and so I left St. George and drove north on Highway 18. Stopping at the overlook into Snow Canyon State Park just off the highway I photographed looking down into the park from above. The biggest challenge was that since I was shooting near mid-day the heat and haze in the atmosphere made it difficult to take what photographers call “tack-sharp” images.
UTAH HIGHWAY 18
I wanted at some point to actually drive through Snow Canyon but with our family activities it never worked out so I'll save that destination for our next trip to St. George. The canyon really is a scenic wonder with rock formations, cliffs, and trails every bit as interesting as you get in some of the larger national parks in southern Utah. It's just much smaller in scale.
A couple days later I decided to take some pictures downtown and photographed the St. George Tabernacle building in some beautifully warm morning light. I love the simple but enduring architecture of these historic pioneer buildings where generations of Mormons have gathered to hear their General Authorities speak to them.
ST. GEORGE TABERNACLE
Driving west from St. George just a couple of miles is Santa Clara, Utah where I visited the historic home of Jacob Hamlin an early explorer, missionary, pioneer settler, and church leader in southern Utah. Arriving right after the site opened for visitors and it being a weekday morning I was the only one there. The Mormon Church missionaries who care for the building and do tours not only showed me whatever I wanted to see but also allowed me to set up my tripod inside to take low-light photographs of some of the rooms arranged as the family had once used them. As a side note, one of my great-great grandfathers, Dudley Leavitt was a good friend and traveling companion of Jacob Hamlin's in southern Utah and it was neat to think at some time he may have also visited this same home.
JACOB HAMLIN HOME
Vacations away from home of course usually aren't long enough but it was a real pleasure to be with some of my family for nearly a week and to photograph another beautiful Utah valley.