Shelley and I left Phoenix well before sunrise for our return to Petrified Forest National Park. We had decided late in the evening after arriving in Phoenix that we head back to the Park and spend the full day there.
Stones and Clouds – Petrified Forest National Park
Shelley and I walked started our day at the Rainbow Forest Museum and visitors center. After seeing the exhibits, we headed out the Giant Logs Trail. Shelley and I followed the trail until, on the western side of the loop, we found an offshoot. Rocks marked the offshoot trail along both sides. We followed this trail to its end. Where we found that hill face that we had been walking on was breaking off. At the end of the trail, I found a sweeping vista and this rock outcropping that was begging to be photographed. The mid-morning clouds were racing towards us as I found my composition.
I made this photograph with my Nikon D600 at ISO 100, 15mm, f/11, and a shutter speed of 15 seconds.
Old Faithful – Petrified Forest National Park
After finding a superb composition at the end of the trail, Shelley and I made our way back to the Giant Logs Trail to continue along the loop. As we made our way back towards to visitor’s center, we came upon Old Faithful. Yea, I know what you’re thinking isn’t Old Faithful that Geyser in Yellowstone national park? Well, it is, and it is not. You see, Old Faithful is also the name of a 35-foot long petrified tree. The name was given the tree by the wife of the Park’s first superintendent.
I walked around the petrified remains of the one great tree looking for my composition. A composition that I had not seen during my pre-trip research. I noted that the clouds racing through the sky were flowing over Old Faithful. Walking around the tree one last time, I settled on a composition that would allow me to capture the clouds in the sky and add drama to the image. This composition also allowed me to remove most of the people from interfering with my photograph.
I made this photograph with my Nikon D600 at ISO 100, 17mm, f/16, and a shutter speed of 30 seconds.
The Tepees – Petrified Forest National Park
Shelley and I traveled north along the road to passing the Tepees at near lunchtime. We had decided to head to North Park entrance to find a late lunch. After we ate lunch and visited the gift shop, we head back south along the road.
By the time that Shelley and I arrived back at the Tepees, the Sun had moved lower along the western horizon. The allowed the Tepee to cast shadows across the landscape. Here I visualized the clouds streaking through my composition of the Tepees. In order of me to archive this, I slapped on my 10-stop neutral density filter as well as my circular polarizer.
I made this photograph with my Nikon D600 at ISO 100, 18mm, f/16, and a shutter speed of 61 seconds.
Sundown South of Holbrook Arizona
Shelley and I hiked most of the developed trails in Petrified Forest National Park that day. It was a that never seemed to end. Or maybe it was just that I did not want it to end knowing that our trip was soon coming to end.
We left Petrified Forest National Park as the Sun was sinking along the horizon. Shelley riding beside me as I drove down a lonely two-lane road heading into the setting sun. It was not long until I found a foreground composition for the Sunset.
I made this photograph with my Nikon D600 at ISO 100, 200mm, f/7.1, and a 1/40 of a second.
Catching the Blue Hour – Holbrook Arizona
Something I learned a while ago is to never leave a sunset location early. If you do, you will most likely miss out on the gorgeous afterglow. I found this composition at the same pull-off as the sunset. The composition was just to the right of my sunset photograph above. I panned my camera to the right and zoomed my lens out.
I made this photograph with my Nikon D600 at ISO 100, 185mm, f/7.1, and a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second.
If you have not yet read last weeks post about the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park please do so by clicking here
If you would like to see the video of our visit to the Petrified Forest National Park please visit my YouTube Channel by clicking here.