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As I outlined earlier, we spent Saturday doing a few day hikes. I slept in a bit longer than the rest of the crew, since Mark & I had opted to stay up waiting for the permit office to open. They all took off and did Angel’s Landing — but I couldn’t get up at 9, and I had hiked Angel’s Landing last time, so I dozed another hour instead.

Mark and I then proceeded to pick out a day hike in the main canyon that we hadn’t done before, and there weren’t too many! I think there was the Court of Patriarchs Trail, and the Watchman Trail. So we hiked the Watchman Trail, which was a nice, moderate 2-mile hike with about 500ft elevation gain. The end of the trail stops at a view point of the Watchman, which is a red spire rising to an elevation of 6545′.  I would not recommend doing this trail SMACK-DAB in the middle of the day on a 95+ degree day though! It was quite hot, and the trail is fully exposed the entire way so it feels like you are trudging uphill through the desert the entire time. Plus, the Watchman would be much more photographic at sunset, when it’s not being bleached out by the direct rays of the sun. But we got some gorgeous shots looking up the canyon from the end of the trail:

That night it was almost a full moon, so we took a leisurely moonlit stroll along the Pa’Rus Trail.   Mark got some pretty good night shots. Here they are post-processing:

3 Responses to “Zion Day 1 — A couple of day hikes”

  1. kledus says:

    that last picture makes me feel weird. It’s like there was too much light for the sky to look that dark! I assume the shutter speed was hellas slow? Kudos to Mark…esp. for bringing a tripod all the way out there

  2. admin says:

    Ya, actually he didn’t use a tripod for the night shots, even though Yao (another guy on the trip) had brought one. He just set his camera on the bridge to steady it and played with the settings. I’ll let him tell you more about it…many of them turned out weird with uber-fake coloring. Like that last shot for example, I have no clue how he got it to be so bright…it was really dark at that time. And that was how it came from his camera!

    He added the black and white filter in Picasa…I think that looks more realistic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Pic details

    The whole set of pics is here:

    f5.0 / 30 sec / 800 ISO

    Cranked the levels in picasa, it’s actually not that good a picture, really noisy and lost a good deal of tonal range, but considering I don’t have a remote shutter bulb, I guess it’s alright. The auto white balance corrected the colors to much light daylight conditions in the color versions.

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