Eye Scene: Photographer, Ryuichi Oshimoto Travels with Sigma Camera & Lenses
Title Photo: Bryce Canyon in southwestern Utah. From Bryce Point, I gaze across the enormous naturally made Amphitheater and I use the super wide-angle zoom lens to capture the scene.
In mid-August, the strong sunlight shines down on the strip of Las Vegas hotels at 11am and the car thermometer read at 102?F. From Las Vegas, I drive north on Freeway 15 for two hours and fill the tank up in Cedar City, Utah. I head east on State Road 14 through Dixie National Forest and as the elevation rose, the temperature fell. Nice, comfortable wind blew through the open car windows. Encountering National Highway 89, I pass through a town named Hatch (at elevation of 6919ft) and I arrive at the 124 mile Scenic Byway 12. There were beautiful vast landscapes on Byway 12, but I refused to stop and I headed 13 miles east. Expecting the summer congestion, I rushed over to the campsite at Bryce Canyon National Park. The campsite had more vacancies than I expected, so I chose a favorable spot and set up tent. I returned to Red Canyon, where if coming from the west on Byway12 it is one of the first places that attracts people.
In 1875, Mormon settlers moved from Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon, named after Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon pioneer. I returned to Bryce Canyon and headed to Sunset Point. The large naturally made amphitheater was filled with the afternoon sun.
That night, camping in the national park that was established in 1928, there was no wind and the temperature only decreased slightly, so it was spent comfortably. By the time I woke the next morning, the eastern sky had begun to brighten. When I rushed to Bryce Point, there were people already waiting by the eastern part of the mountain where the light had begun to pour in. After the sunrise, most of the people left, but I stayed and endured through the cold morning breeze.
Standing 8296ft high from Bryce Point. With the red Hoodoo in the background, the white colored Hoodoo basking in the morning light attracted my eye. Setting the camera on the tripod, the morning landscape was captured.
Returning to the campsite from Bryce Point, I ate a quick breakfast, then folded up the tent and drove south of the park.
Vast fields came into view when driving south from the campsite. I saw a Pronghorn there. I quickly photographed it with the large aperture telephoto zoom lens and when I attempted to get closer, it bolted off.
The red color seen on the rock surface at Black Birch Canyon is from the iron. Using the large aperture macro lens, the scene was captured sharply.
I went to Rainbow Point (elevation 9105ft) on the southern most part of the park and from there I drove east on Byway 12 out of the park.
Before returning to Byway12, there were a number of large signposts on the fields. Several horses hid behind the shadows of the signs to avoid the harsh sunlight and one of them approached me.
Driving east on Scenic Byway 12, the road cuts across the north of Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the way, captivated by the red rocks on Mossy Cave Trail, I decided to walk on the trail.
In the late 1800’s, in order to eliminate the water shortage, irrigation canals were created to draw water from the Sevier River. As a result, the creek became knee deep and I walk over to the fall.
Walking along the creek, I encounter a waterfall pouring into a red rock world. Using the ultra wide-angle zoom lens while soaking up spray of water, I photographed the red rocks, blue sky and the waterfall streaming on the summer’s dry land.
When I leave Bryce Canyon, Scenic Byway 12 heads south toward Tropic, a small town.
I got the impression that Tropic was a motel and RV town. I used the compact digital camera to casually snap the photo.
Camera: DP2x, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/125 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length:24.2mm
Driving further 5 miles south, I arrive at Cannonville and I grabbed guidebook about Scenic Byway 12 at the visitor center.
As I drove through Main Street in Cannonville, I saw an old gas pump. The white painted building was bright under the afternoon sun and the view remained in the passerby.
In 1948, the National Geographic Society used Kodachrome film to photograph all images for the September 1949 issue of National Geographic magazine. A relatively new brand film at the time, they named this area the Kodachrome Flat. In 1962, this land became a State Park, but fearing the repercussions from Kodak Film Company, it was named Chimney Rock State Park. However a few years later with the permission of Kodak, it was named Kodachrome Basin. This day, there were few people at Kodachrome Basin. Carrying the latest digital camera, I reminisce on the days of Kodachrome film while I walking around the park.
The long rock called the Sand Pipe stands between the multi-colored sandstone created180 million years ago. I speculated whether this is a manmade thing.
I look up at Shakespeare Arch basking in the afternoon sun while walking the trails. Thinking of the discontinued Kodachrome film, I used the high quality digital camera to burn the image of the red rock and blue sky.
I had a choice to turn around at the arch, but I proceeded toward the looped trail. Walking around the higher area of the trail, strong wind blew through the vast acres of land.
The west wind was blocked out on the eastern side of the trail where I was walking. In the windless, quiet atmosphere, my shadow was visible in the photograph.
Camera: DP1x, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 100, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/320 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 16.6 mm
Returning to Scenic Byway 12 from Kodachrome Basin State Park, I drove east to Henrieville.
A sleek sign I saw before entering the town of Henrieville.
Looking back on Scenic Byway 12, I stood in the middle of the road and held the large aperture telephoto zoom lens firmly to photograph the scene.
After passing the small town of Henrieville, the road leads into a northeastern direction. “Along the way you will also discover that Scenic Byway 12 takes you through memorable landscapes, ranging from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests, and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats. The history and culture of the area blend together, making Scenic Byway 12 a journey like no other.” –A Route Guide to Scenic Byway 12
To further experience the journey according to the guidebook, I headed to Escalante to find accommodation. (Continued to Part II)
*All artwork on this page was processed from RAW data (X3F) with Sigma PhotoPro software. After processing, some selected images were imported into retouching software to remove dust. This photo essay is currently running on Sigma Japan’s site and it is published here two months later