Tioga Pass Ski Trip

Backcountry skier in fresh snow below Tioga Pass, Inyo National Forest, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California (Russ Bishop/Russ Bishop Photography)

This image was taken on a backcountry ski trip over Tioga Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For adventure photography one of my favorite lenses is the Nikkor 16mm. Its small size and easy handling make it a perfect choice for fast action and its wide field of view really lets the viewer connect with the scene. An added plus is the beautiful sun star that is achieved when the lens is stopped down to its smallest aperture.

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The Wave

Swirling sandstone formation known as "The Wave" in the Coyote Buttes area, Paria Plateau, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona. (Russ Bishop/Russ Bishop Photography)

As a followup to my last post, The Wave is another gem of the southwest that’s a very popular destination with photographers, but also one of the most remote spots on the map. So remote in fact that on my first trip I failed to find it – even with a GPS!

It’s a wonderful example of chaos theory applied to geology. Basically a petrified sand dune that’s been carved by the forces of wind and water over the ages, it’s easy to see how it got its name. I made this image a few years ago on my second trip to the area, which lies on the Arizona/Utah border southwest of Lake Powell. The image was taken with a 20mm wide-angle lens to emphasize the dizzying curves and create a sense that the formation is much bigger than it really is.

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The Subway

The Subway along North Creek, Zion National Park, Utah (Russ Bishop/Russ Bishop Photography)

I often say you could spend the rest of your life wandering around the remote corners southern Utah and still not see it all. The myriad of canyons and buttes are a feast for the eye (and lens) and are worthy of all the wilderness status we can give them. But invariably I do visit the more popular locations like Zion and Bryce where the challenge is to find those hidden gems amid the well-covered icons.

On a recent trip to Zion I made of point of getting a permit and hiking the better part of a day to a remote corner of the park along North Creek. After several miles of stream crossings and boulder hopping I arrived at The Subway – one of the jewels of the park. I spent several hours shooting this magical spot while the light continually changed as it played off the canyon walls and illuminated the stream and pools.

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