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On the Edge of Daybreak

road-tripping-utah-12Rise and Shine

The more I force myself to rise for sunrise, the more pleasantly surprised I am. It’s being able to see the landscape come to life around you, that moment when the colors turn and the sky comes to life.

On the Edge of Daybreak – Colorado National Monument

After rising early at the rest stop in Grand Junction, we quickly made our way toward the Colorado National Monument to find some scenes for sunrise. There was a storm moving in, and the sun coming over the Rockies lit up the rain on the valley. Waiting for that perfect moment when the sun crests the horizon for a little sunburst just topped it off.

I did have one mishap, not checking my messages before going to bed. A friend, Jacob, had invited us to stay the night at their place in GJ, and I’ll admit a bed would have been a little more pleasant than the bed of an SUV, but I may have been a little more tempted to sleep thru sunrise, which in this case would have been a tragedy.

Daybreak Colorado William Woodward

When Morning Calls


California has officially made it in to my ‘most frequent’ used categories on my website.  I wonder if that’s a sign, either that I go too often, or that it’s just such a beautiful place to photograph…

When Morning Calls ~ San Francisco, California

On this fine (albeit brisk) morning, I met Casey McCallister of for a sunrise shoot at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, walking up Conzleman Rd towards Hawk hill. We would have had Michael Bonocore of join us, but he was too busy sleeping in from a hard afternoon spent at the Giants game. Karl the Fog monster never showed up, actually we didn’t have much in the way of clouds at all, but having an unobstructed view of the city wasn’t bad either. And I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for sunburts.

Morning San Francisco William Woodward

Waves in the Sky ~ Lower Gray Canyon

Butte, Mesa, or Plateau

So I came across this definition, but I’m not sure if it’s helped me at all; “a butte is a small flat-topped or pointed hill or mountain. A mesa is a medium size flat-topped hill or mountain. And a plateau is a really big flat-topped hill or mountain.”   Basically, as far as I can tell, these could be one or all of the above :).

Waves in the Sky

I think I’m becoming more and more adapt to sunrise shoots.  Maybe it’s the draw of not knowing what will happen, being completely dark when you start your adventure, and never knowing what you might find when the sun rises.

On this brisk Utah morning, I found myself driving around Green River, and happened up this little road on Google Maps that looked pretty interesting.  Oh by the way, Google Maps and Terrain is a great way for pre-scouting a location, finding something with an interesting landscape or potential shot site.  The clouds were opening up a bit and getting some of that great morning color, all as I was flying around Lower Gray Canyon looking for something to fill the frame, when I just happened around the right corner, and the road was perfectly fading off in to the distance.  This is ‘the Utah’ that I was looking for.

Gray Canyon Green River William Woodward

Broken Bow by Sunset

Behind the Scenes

We all know how much I love behind the scenes stuff.  I end up spending as much time shooting the ‘behind the scenes’ photos from time to time as much as the actual scene itself!  First off, the camera itself, and you’ll see that I’m using live view to double check the horizon line.  I find that it does a pretty awesome job of doing a quick check that all my lines are even with the world.  Also, settings are at f10, ISO100, 10 seconds.

Broken Bow William Woodward

I don’t really do snakes, so I’ll be honest, the walk out in the dark was a little unnerving.  Especially since I had to do a fair bit of climbing around to get to this spot.


Heading out by flashlight.  Definitely feeling like a snake is around every corner.


Broken Bow by Sunset

If it wasn’t for having heard from my photographer friend Glenn that there are RATTLESNAKES hiding around here, and that he had recently seen one on a trip in, I would have completely enjoyed this spot.

Taken just after sunset, I was a little concerned that the night was going to be a wash, with clouds moving in before sunset. Luckily, though, the belly of the clouds were low and had a nice glow from San Diego. So we’ll call this an ‘artificial sunset’.

Broken Bow William Woodward


Too Many Photos

I don’t suppose this is an all around bad problem to have, but it is when you’re trying to organize everything.  Luckily I’ve done a moderately decent job along the way, but it’s still a lot to manage.


Ahh the sweet smell of summer.  It’s almost upon us again, and I am more than ready.  Bathing suits and cold adult beverages.  Oh and no more coats.  Yep, I’m in to that.

Cloud William Woodward

Anatomy of a Road Trip – Round 2

From Denver to Salt Lake City

And back again!  I hope that you have been able to follow along on Facebook and Google+ (you can follow and circle me from the sidebar) but in case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of the last week.

Day 1: Pack the essentials

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Day 2: See some butterflies. Pretty.

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Day 3:  Well, this is awkward…

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Day 3B:  Better.

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Day 3C: Sunset over Salt Lake City

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Day 4:  Get ‘Official Media Pass’, feel fancy.

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Day 4B:  Using aforementioned Media Pass, check out the stage at the Holi Festival.  (see the official page here:

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Day 4C:  Sunset, colors, people, music, beauty.

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Day 5: What’s left of the festival, a piece of each person who came.

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Day 6: Arches National Park, get special tip from a friend for a better vantage point.

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Day 6B:  Spend the evening at Delicate Arch, soak in the beauty of nature.

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Day 7:  Last sunrise leaves me convinced that I will return.

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Day 8:  What’s next?