Sunday, September 9, 2012


I was up and out 0-Dark 30 to catch the sunrise at Bryce canyon. As is always the case in these moments, I am finding myself questioning my intelligence as to why I gave up the the comfy studio life of being a humble Hollywood photographer for  glamorous life of fine art landscape photography. Which for me is once again my experiencing my interpretation of what it feels like to be a Popsicle. I had a runny nose, said precipitate of my nostrils has froze into a snot-sicle at the tip. The upside to this is even though I am running a 102 degree fever I am just frozen, just not frozen solid. Well there was that I suppose.... All I know it's freezing it's really dark, it's freezing, I can't feel my toes or feet, it's freezing, I look like the unholy offspring of the Stay Puff marshmallow man and the Michelin man, all that there was to be had in the form of caffeine was 7-11 coffee which now has a layer of ice at the top and my gloved hands can't take the lid off to break the ice with out spilling coffee all over me. (I know this to be true because I have frozen coffee all over my down jacket.) Also did I mention that it is really dark and really really cold?
So here I am walking back and forth down these switch backs miserable. I am in the dark carrying a carbon fiber tripod, a metric butt-ton of camera gear and a gear bag with all of the useless crap that if I don't carry I will need it, so to ward of the evil spirits I carry it.  (Duct tape, q-tips, shower caps, extra back caps a multi-tool that I have no idea what it really does, that stuff) My cup of now of now solid iced coffee, the acid flavor one, frozen to my gloved hand that even if I wanted too I can't drink which I am wearing half of wondering if the stuff works in the same way the blood from the creatures in the move Alien works.

Then I see the briefest glimmer of light!!!! The light at the end of the Bryce-sicle maker of photographers tunnel.... I set up my tripod..... BOOM the Sun comes up! With the sudden sunrise also comes this monster thermal inversion and a hurricane, no make that typhoon force blast of wind (maybe I am exaggerating a little... but not much)  shoots up from the canyon floor. I proceed to watch my camera and tripod levitate and the next thing I know "Houston we have lift-off" Like a rocket the camera and tripod are over my head and then are rocketing off the cliff down to the next part of the switch back about 40 feet below me. Next I hear... SMASH BAM, THUD thud. (Insert your personal list of colorful expletives and epitaphs if this were you).

One does not really run in a Stay Puff Marshmallow mates with Michelin Man down suit.... I get to the camera, there is a hole punctured through the pentaprism housing, the word Nikon has been so scraped that all it say s is "Nik" I look at that and think "well that is a bit of an understatement" more like "DENT". Also one of the carbon fiber tripod legs is snapped and the lens can no longer manually focus. But the auto focus is on line and when I put my finger over the hole in the pentaprism housing the meter works and the camera still focuses. Then I remember in the stuff that I will never use but must bring because if I don't I will need it part of my camera bag is Duct tape! If you are unfamiliar with the powers of Duct tape, Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side a dark side and it hold the universe together.

First, I tape the prism housing problem one solved, second, tape the (seriously tape) the tripod leg together it holds, set the camera up and take the shot. Right next to where the forces of nature  felt was a better place for me to shoot than the place I had chose was a bronze trail placard. It reads as follows "When Ebeneezer Bryce was asked about his discovery of what is now called Bryce Canyon he replied "Well... it was a hell of a place to loose a cow." All I can say in response to Ebeneezer's observation  is "Ay-yep."

This image was captured with a Nikon D-2H camera with a 70-200mm VR Zoom lens using the Nikon electronic file format (.Nef) Shot on Lexar Flash media. All file was post processed using capture NX 2.0 software,  Photoshop CS and Nik Colorefex Pro 3.0 software.

Final file is stored and scaled using Genuine Fractals.

© Vincent Versace 2012

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