Zion Canyon (Day 1)

Utah, USA, 21st October 2014.

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

Moving out of Las Vegas and entering Utah, our first destination was Zion Canyon.  This is the view from the bridge on the way into the National Park.

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

Zion Canyon is on the edge of the Colorado Plateau and so is unusual in that you walk in from the bottom of the canyon instead of looking around from the top.

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

Near the bridge is as far as you can drive a car.  To go further up the canyon you have to take a bus and then walk.

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

The rocks are mainly sandstone and the layers date mainly from the Triassic to the Jurassic (250 to 150 million years ago).

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

Anasazi (ancestral publoans) lived in this area from about 2,000 years ago; Paiutes from about 800 years ago and Mormons from the 1860s.

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon x.

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon .

Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

Back at the bridge (similar viewpoint to the first image) for the fading sun.

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Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah, Zion Canyon

This final image is a ten minute exposure after dark.

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Las Vegas by Night

Las Vegas, USA, 19th and 20th October 2014.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is Las Vegas from the air, including “the Strip” in the middle right, as we fly in on the first night.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

On the second night, with most of the party doing other things, I went for a walk in “the Strip” with Glenn, the resident photographer for the tour.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Water in fountains at the side of the street caught my eye….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

…and the water can make interesting patterns as it pauses in the air.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

A little later, we walked around inside Bellagio’s Hotel.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is not just a place to stay, it’s an elaborate universe of its own with spectacular displays, restaurants, shops, bars, an art gallery, a circus, meeting facilities, wedding facilities and of course a casino.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Note that the leaves move around.  Their position has changed from the previous photo.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is a section of  Fioro di Como, the largest glass sculpture ever made, by Dale Chihuly.  It is a “chandelier” on the ceiling of the reception area of the Bellagio Hotel.  It comprises about 200 hand-blown pieces of glass, supported by nearly a tonne of steel, covering around 2,000 square feet of the ceiling.  I took one hundred people two years to complete.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

There were also various “semi-plastic extravaganzas”, such as this simulated water wheel.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Out the front of the hotel, I took a photograph of this view as an experiment in infrared photography at night.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

… And then the water display started….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

…. a magnificent spurting of fountains that recurred (if I recall correctly) every fifteen minutes.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is perhaps less surprising in a seaside city with a plentiful water supply.

 

Bellagio

… or it would be if Las Vegas were such a city, whereas in fact it is in the middle of a desert and has a severe problem with its water supply.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Las Vegas gets 90% of its water from Lake Mead (behind the Hoover Dam) which due to a 14-year drought is at 48% of capacity.  This may be a permanent change and a US Government study showed that the water supply through the Colorado river could reduce annually by 7%.  If the situation continues, Lake Mead may become unusable as a water supply by 2035.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

The water comes in a pipeline direct from Lake Mead and there’s more than one pipeline.  The first is at 1,050 feet above sea level and is currently only 15 feet or so below the surface of the lake.  So there is another at 1,000 feet above sea level but even this will not suffice for all that long.  They are now building another at 890 feet above sea level at the cost of around $1 billion, due for completion next year.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

And yet there is still no sense of crisis.  Las Vegas has one of the highest percapita water consumptions of a US city and one of the lowest water charges.  The Bellagio fountains are emblematic of this waste yet not the main problem.  They are only 3% of consumption and the Strip 6%, whereas lawns are 70%.   Another factor is mega-resort Lake Las Vegas, covering 320 acres including man-made rivers and waterfalls.  They’re living on borrowed time….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Otherwise, as we see above, in the end it’s just a normal night in a random American city.

Hoover Dam

Nevada and Arizona, USA, 20th October 2014.

After the helicopter flight, we briefly visited Hoover Dam.  This was built between 1931 and 1936 partly as an employment-generating project during Depression years.   It was at the time the world’s largest concrete dam and by 1939 it was the world’s largest electricity generating plant.   One hundred and fifty-four workers died during construction, not including the sixteen workers who died of heat exhaustion during a couple of days in 1931 when the temperature reached 49°C (120°F).

 

Arizona, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Landscape, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Bridge and Dam from helicopter.

 

Arizona, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Landscape, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This was at a lift at the dam.  A No Firearms sign is not something you expect to see in countries other than the USA.

 

Arizona, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Landscape, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

 

Arizona, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Landscape, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

There has been an extended drought for several years and you can see how far the water has dropped.  Lake Mead is now at 39% of capacity and there are many demands on it including aqueducts to California and Arizona and high dependence by Las Vegas including for drinking water.  It is at the lowest level it has been since the dam opened and the drought has continued for fourteen years.  There doesn’t appear to be any sense of crisis as yet.

 

Arizona, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Landscape, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

 

Grand Canyon by Helicopter (Mono)

Nevada and Arizona, USA, 20th October 2014.

Another post from a parallel universe, in a helicopter over Lake Mead, the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

This is a world with almost all the colour drained out of it, somewhat as a dog or cat might see, although they do have some colour vision, albeit with less colours and saturation than we see.

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Black and White, Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon by Helicopter (IR)

Nevada and Arizona, USA, 20th October 2014.

This is a post from a parallel universe.

At exactly the same time as the helicopter ride that we saw in the previous post over Lake Mead, the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon, I took a helicopter ride in an alternative universe that had a surreal sheen to the fabric of reality.

I’m not sure how these images found their way back to “normal reality”.

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

Airport

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

Taking off…

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

Return trip…

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

 

 

 

Grand Canyon, Helicopter, Infrared, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA, Utah

… The next thing I have to work on is to get multiple versions of myself in parallel universes to simultaneously do my post-processing for me….