Guardsman Pass at Sunset

For a while now it has been difficult to get into a photographic groove because, while my kids were quite young, I felt guilty taking the time on my days off to leave the family and do photography. As a result, I didn’t do much photography and definitely wasn’t consistent. Well, my kids are now old enough that they can go with me on most every trip, and I’ve been acclimating them to hiking, camping, and other activities that correlate with outdoor photography so I know they’ll like getting out. They love it and I am now using photo outings as a way to spend quality time with my kids. It’s fantastic.

Today I took my 8 year-old son up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman Pass to check out some lakes. We took some dirt roads and then hiked to some lakes but they weren’t good for evening lighting (morning would work pretty well, though). He caught some salamanders in the lakes and had a great time exploring, but there was a shot I was hoping to get, so we left the lakes and drove to where I thought the lighting would be best. Sure enough, it was, and the smoke from various fires made the sky look nice.

I knew that smoke would give the sky a red hue and accentuate the various peaks in the distance. What I didn’t expect was the way the yellow road striping would reflect the sunlight – almost glowing. It made the image and helps draw the eye into the photo. I originally was driving to a different spot but, while driving, noticed this view and had to stop. I’m glad I did.

I had to take multiple exposures to accomodate for the large range, blending them together in Photoshop later. I’ve thought about getting an ND grad filter set but just haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. They would have helped today but probably not enough as I really had to stop down to get the sun to have rays. Maybe I’ll borrow my buddy’s grads and see how I like them.

Guardsman Pass sunset in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

FJ Cruiser watching the sunset in Guardsman Pass, Utah