Thursday, March 27, 2008

What a vacation!

11 days away from home is too long! I had a great time at WPPI in Vegas and got to meet and study with some of the top photographers from around the world. I learned so much I can't wait for my first wedding this year to put into practice all this new knowledge! Fortunately I get to work with an awesome couple next weekend, Thad and Karmen.

My trip wasn't all work and no play -- my wife, Holly, flew out to meet with me on Friday and we went to Zion Canyon to take care of some unfinished business. We were there last year and attempted to climb to the top of Angels Landing, however, we chickened out about 1/2 mile from the top. It is such a steep and narrow climb that the national park service put metal poles with chains in between for people to hold onto. At one point you walk a cross a path that is 3 feet wide and over 1000 feet down on either side. That's where we stopped last time. This year we made it to the top safely and back down in about 4 1/2 hours. The next day we went to Arches National Park in Utah. There are so many amazing hikes there you could spend a week and not do them all! As we were hiking we came across a magazine fashion shoot on the edge of a canyon. The wind was blowing pretty good which made for a dramatic image. The model was from Germany, the photographer was from New York and rest of the crew was from England. It was exciting for me to just happen across the scene with the camera in my hand.

We decided to be adventurous and signed up for "canyoneering." We hiked across a mile of petrified sand dunes and then rappelled down a 90' cliff into a grotto! It was terrifying at first -- especially when we had to 'lean back' into the rappel, but then it got easier. After another mile or so we did a jaw-dropping 120' rappel into an alluring green canyon below via an enormous natural stone bridge! It was such an amazing adventure and we are so glad we took the opportunity to give it a try!