Valley of the Gods 2018-01

February 06, 2018  •  3 Comments

During the last few days of January, I visited the Valley of the Gods in southeast Utah.  This area, which was part of the Bears Ears National Monument until the monument was greatly reduced in size, has very little population, little visitation, and very dark skies.  Those facts, plus the Valley’s  scenic buttes and bluffs, made this an excellent location to shoot the total lunar eclipse on the morning of January 31st.

Valley of the Gods 180131-17158 5D Composite 5Valley of the Gods 180131-17158 5D Composite 5
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Valley of the Gods 2018-01 location gallery.  Click on any image below to see a larger version.

For nearly a week before the trip, I studied maps, read internet articles and used smart phone apps to plan the trip and the specific timing of the eclipse.  I arrived a couple days before the eclipse to scout locations in person, and to shoot the starry skies above the buttes.

Valley of the Gods Stars 180129-8078Valley of the Gods Stars 180129-8078 Valley of the Gods Stars 180129-8082Valley of the Gods Stars 180129-8082

Since the moon was nearly full during the nights just before the eclipse, I also made some moonrise shots above the rock formations.

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During the eclipse I took several lunar “close-ups” to show the changes in color and the details of the moon’s surface

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Finally, during the daylight hours, I re-visited the scenic areas throughout the valley.

Valley of the Gods 180130-16942 PanoValley of the Gods 180130-16942 Pano

This trip pointed out the benefits of careful advanced planning for celestial events.  Using the Photo Pills app on my phone allowed me to be in the right place at the right time to capture this heavenly event.

To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Valley of the Gods 2018-01 gallery.   

As always, I would appreciate your adding a comment in the section below.


Comments

William Sharp(non-registered)
Thank you for this remarkable journey through the Valley. I was struck by the dramatic impact of different lighting conditions on a single landscape. In your full gallery, the magic of 2469 - hinting at a realm beyond the photograph - is hard to convey in words.
Linda Allen(non-registered)
One cannot put breathless beauty into words.
You captured it. Outstanding.
David Tompson(non-registered)
Mike, I always enjoy your photographic capabilities and the great photo you share on your site. Your photos match or exceed those of most professionals. I would put you in the professional category.
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