Thursday, October 11, 2012

UTAH: GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK

After breakfast at the campsite, we spent the rest of the morning exploring Goblin Valley State Park.  The park is named for the very unusual rock formations found there.  These were originally discovered in the 1920s and by the 1960s Utah had turned the area into a state park to preserve the area for public recreation and to protect it from potential vandalism.  The attraction consists of three shallow valleys filled with thousands of hoodoo formations dubbed goblins because of their unearthly shapes.  The goblins are anywhere from a couple of feet tall to some ranging 15-20 feet high.  There aren't really any established paths through the valleys.  Rather, the visitor may simply wander among the goblins.

I thought it would be fun and easy to get interesting shots of the formations, but this was not as simple as it seemed.  Here are a few shots of some of the goblins.




These were OK, but they did not provide a very good idea of scale--it is difficult to tell whether the formations are 2 feet tall or 20.  It helped to have people in the shot, as in the following of Bei and of Bei and Jeff.



I also tried a few more panoramic shots, but the goblins tended to get lost and the shots did not bring out the unusual qualities of the formations.


Here is a shot of a formation on a ridge with just the sky as a backdrop.


I also tried just to feature a juxtaposition of rocks to show light and shadow, similar to what I had tried in Little Wild Horse Canyon.


A nothing shot, really.  The time of day--late morning to early afternoon--was not helping as the light and shadow conditions were less favorable.

Ultimately, I began looking for "smaller" compositions, such as plants lit by the sun . . .


and mud cracks left by shallow pools of water from some prior rain that had evaporated.


I liked the following shot that looked like a river bed seen from the air but was, in fact, only about one inch wide.


And the following shot featuring weeds that had grown up though a crack in the mud and were casing shadows.


One of the better know formations on our way out of the park is known as the Three Sisters, for evident reasons.


Maybe that's their dog on the left.

Taken with my Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens.

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