A Photographer’s Fantasyland


Bryce Canyon National Park

In November a fellow photographer friend and I took 4 days to visit two national parks in Utah … Capitol Reef & Bryce Canyon. “Everything is far apart out here in the West” someone once told me. They were right … the trip included 6-8 hours (more or less) to get from one place to the next, so a lot of our time was spent driving. We ended up with an evening plus a full day at Capitol Reef and an afternoon and morning at Bryce. Of course the quality of the light and cloud interest are always important ingredients for a landscape photographer so we could only hope to be lucky during our visit. Thankfully, on our last morning we were blessed with beautiful diffused light. This is when my favorite images were captured and all but 3 below were from those early hours. The canyon had the look of an enchanted fantasyland filled with castle walls, towers and passageways.

‘First Light, Bryce Canyon National Park’ © Denise Bush
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‘Castle Walls’ © Denise Bush
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‘Raven Of The Canyon’ © Denise Bush
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‘Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon National Park’ © Denise Bush

‘Bryce Layers’ © Denise Bush

‘Rocky Fortress’ © Denise Bush

‘Thor’s Hammer’ © Denise Bush
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‘Three Goblets’ © Denise Bush

‘Bryce Sunrise’ © Denise Bush

‘Canyon Layers With Fiery Sunrise’ © Denise Bush
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53 Responses to “A Photographer’s Fantasyland”

  1. This is amazing

  2. Stuning! AGAIN! 🙂 The final one is my absolute favorite! Bravo!

  3. The light is awesome for the place indeed. These are beautiful views. Love the yellow/orange glows. The close up of the raven is so good.

    • Thanks! The rocks seemed to glow like one of those salt lamps. I was happy to get the raven shot … I thought it fit in with the fantasy theme too.

  4. These are amazing photos, Denise! It must have been so exciting!

  5. Lovely images of Bryce, one of my favourite NP’s when I visited the USA.

  6. How much beauty in this landscape of the Bryce Canyon National Park. Thank you very much for this magnificent post, Denise.

  7. Beautifully captured, Denise. Lighting makes all the difference.

  8. Fantastic images! A special place indeed. Hope to get back there and southern Utah someday. Photo on!

    • Thank you for visiting and the comment! Southern Utah alone has so many great places for photographers. I hope you get back there too!

  9. Oh my goodness! Absolutely breathtaking! The lighting on the red color palette is incredible. As you said a fantasyland! So nice to experience Bryce through your eye as we always have to pass the national parks as we travel with our dog. Amazing!!

  10. Oh my, gorgeous landscapes! Adding these locations to my bucket list!

    • Oh yes, Bryce should be on everyone’s bucket list. I wasn’t as taken with Capitol Reef and the fact that we didn’t have a good sky on our full day there probably affected my take. Glad you like … thanks!

  11. Beautiful photos, Denise. Those hoodoos are so captivating. There seems to be a deep spirit to the place.

  12. Stunning images of Bryce. Must of been a bit chilly!

    • Yes, it was cold enough to snow, which is what we were hoping for … but I am not complaining! Thanks so much for checking in and the nice comment.

  13. thank you for sharing the fantasyland!

  14. lovely photos

  15. Amazing job!

  16. 32 Vickie Bush

    Breathtaking Denise!

  17. All beautiful, Denise.

  18. Nice capture of the raven!!!

  19. Your photos of Bryce truly capture its fantasy-like atmosphere. It was such an inspiration to walk along many of the trails, giving my imagination the run of those magical hoodoos.

  20. Spectacular captures, Denise! We visited Bryce last summer, and, WOW, it’s mind-blowing. We still need to see Capitol Reef. 🙂

    • Thanks Donna. If I went to Capitol Reef again I’d go the last 2 weeks of October when the cottonwoods are gold. It is a more difficult place to photograph and we didn’t have good light much of the time we were there.

  21. Beautiful!

  22. The images are lovely. It takes me back to my memories of Bryce. It’s been ages since I was there. I’ve not been to Capitol Reef.

  23. One of my most favorite parks to photograph and you have captured its magical beauty, Denise. Love First Light, Castle Walls, Thor’s Hammer– the entire series is stunning. And your landscape sunrise at the end is glorious. Brava!

  24. I am speechless – amazing photos. Thank You.

  25. They’re beautiful, Denise, and you must have had such a good time! It’s tough to pick favorites, and I think one that really draws me is the raven! I can’t believe you managed both parks in four days. It seems to me that photographing this landscape is a huge technical challenge, and you certainly rose to it. I’m struck to by looking at all the trees interspersed among the rocks, growing in soil that looks so inhospitable. Being there must be way beyond what any photo can convey, in the end.

    • Thank you Lynn. It would have been nice to have more time but my friend works full-time so we made it a 4 day weekend. While there are trails to explore at Bryce there are also lots of overlooks along the rim making it quite easy to photograph. Capitol Reef was more challenging. Others commented on the raven … they are such mystical birds and I had been wanting to get a good capture for years!

  26. This looks like a great compositional playground. These are two places we definitely plan to explore sometime. Light is always a concern, especially when you spend so much time getting to and from those locations in the wide open West. You did very well with what you got and that last sunrise is brilliant. It’s good you were there to capture it.

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