T-Bird nature photography

Standing behind my camera, I feel a mix of emotions. Sometimes I’m relaxed and other times I’m stressed. Either way, I’m happy.

Almost every time I go outside, I bring my camera. This past weekend was no different.

I drove east on University Boulevard. I parked near the base of the mountain where a bridge crossed Coal Creek.

It was raining lightly, so I had to be careful when taking photos. Since I was there, I looked for a path down to the bottom.

I would advise not climbing down steep hills with large rocks on them in the rain. I probably could have figured out that it was a bad idea, but I just wanted a cool picture. I almost twisted my ankle because I have no balance or coordination, but I somehow managed to avoid falling.

This little escapade was successful, so I made the mistake of continuing up the mountain. As I climbed higher, it started to snow, so I pulled into a parking lot with a few-days’-worth of snow.

As I tried to back out, my car got stuck, but I was lucky that caring people were there because they helped get my car out. After this, I decided not to take any more pictures and go home for a nap.

It wasn’t a crazy adventure, but it was fun to get outside and experience the beauty of southern Utah.

I went up to Cedar Breaks on Monday with Mitchell Quartz, one of the University Journal’s photojournalists. His truck did a lot better with the snow than my car.

The snow at the top of the mountain was deeper than some of the fences, and it was bizarre walking on top of the posts. I should have worn better shoes because I slipped around constantly.

We didn’t trek too much through the snow because most of the spots for cool photos would involve dangerous paths, and since we weren’t familiar with the area, we wanted to play it safe. It also didn’t help that I kept falling when trying to climb up steep hills.

However, there was a short trail to a look-out. Standing at the edge of a cliff allowed us to get some pretty cool shots. The red rocks poked through the snow, which made for a nice contrast.

We hiked around for a bit to find new spots but decided to call it a day. I had some grand ideas, but, like I said, I kept falling before I could get anywhere close.

I was sad when the school week started on Tuesday because I wanted to go outside and get more shots, because nature photography calms me down.

In my intermediate photography class, we’ve been using pinhole cameras that we’ve built. I took the three-hour class time to go back to the Coal Creek. Unlike Saturday, it wasn’t raining.

Making mistakes seems to be the recurring theme of these field trips. I wanted to get a photo from the middle of the river, so I walked into it.

Oddly enough, water is cold in winter.

Unlike a digital camera, pinholes require longer exposures. My camera had a relatively short time at 20 seconds. It took just over a minute to level the tripod, take the photo and get out of the water, but my feet wanted to die.

But I don’t know when to stop. I took off my shoes, which were soaked, and crossed the creek barefoot with my equipment to get a shot from the other side. After I got a not-so-great picture, I crossed back, put on my shoes and got in my car.

Even though I had to have the heater as high as it would go and pointed at my feet on the way back to the photo studio, I was happy with the photos once I developed them in the dark room.

Despite all the mistakes during these trips, I got some great photos. If you have more outdoor experience, you could likely avoid most of the errors I made. Even if you do mess up a little, go out there and try something new; you’ll have better photos and memories if you take risks.


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