Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Arizona
Dizzying my knees feel weak just looking at it Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Dizzying
my knees feel weak just looking at it
Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona

It's been half a year since our vacation brought us to Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona, so I guess it's time to finally post some pictures.

Just like the stunning Antelope Canyon that we visited earlier in the day, from afar the place looks like nothing special...

Path From the Parking Lot -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Path From the Parking Lot

Being a desert, there's sand (very fine powdery sand) everywhere. A path through it leads from the parking lot up a long rise. Here's a photo from about halfway up, looking back:

Looking Back at the Parking Lot a dusty splotch of asphalt in the middle of nothing -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back at the Parking Lot
a dusty splotch of asphalt in the middle of nothing
Up Into the Unknown -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/1250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Up Into the Unknown

When you crest the hill, you see pretty much what you saw everywhere else, except for the addition of a big hole:

First Glimpse for scale, note the dozens of people in the foreground -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
First Glimpse
for scale, note the dozens of people in the foreground

What's notably lacking are the normal trappings of a tourist attraction... other than a sign at the parking lot warning of the trek (slippery sand, lack of water, lack of shade), a well-worn path to follow, and a small gazebo at the high point of the trek to offer the elderly a place to rest, there's nothing manmade. No railings, no refreshment stands, no incessant signs warning of danger and admonishing don't do this and disclaiming no responsibility for that.

It was wonderful.

The path seemed to be little more than a rough suggestion, so rather than follow it with the crowds of people, I made my own path toward the left edge of the hole.

They're Following the Path -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
They're Following the Path
Interesting Rocks Everywhere -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Interesting Rocks Everywhere

As I approached The Big Hole, the lack of signage was eerie. Nothing warning me to stay away from the edge, nothing warning me that there was an edge. It was 100% natural like it probably was 10,000 years ago.

Luckily I still knew how to wield some personal responsibility, and I did not die. Here's the first picture I took when I got there:

Big Hole is Too Big for my 24mm lens -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Hole is Too Big
for my 24mm lens

It's a stunning view, and it's very far down. If you fell, screaming the whole way, those left above would no longer be able to hear you by the time you hit bottom. (This may or may not be comforting to know.)

The dark corners in the picture are from the polarizer filter, or more specifically, from the XUME magnetic filter holder I'm using. I like to be able to take the filter off easily, so I often use magnetic holders, but it makes the filter stick out and cause vignetting that's most noticeable when shooting at smaller apertures like above.

I often crop out the dark corners, but I leave them there this time to show what I did with the photo. I made a sort-of-haphazard sweeping motion and shot a bunch more pictures, and gave them to Lightroom's Photo Merge and, and without further input from me it did a pretty good job slapping them all together:

Panorama Made From 10 poorly-planned shots -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Panorama Made From
10 poorly-planned shots

I shouldn't really say poorly planned because that implies that there was any planning at all. If I'd given it any thought, I would have increased the coverage a lot. As it is, I left lots of blank areas, which makes a reasonable crop difficult. I did a crop, and touched up one seam I noticed in the sky, and here we are:

Was Worth a Try but next time I'll just bring a wide -angle lens -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Was Worth a Try
but next time I'll just bring a wide-angle lens

One could see boats moving on the river...

Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos

Anthony eventually came over to join me, at which point the lack of railings suddenly became much more important, and I was wishing I'd left him duct-taped to the camper. Nothing gets a parent's complete and undivided attention like danger to their child. But it's dangerous only if you're stupid or foolish, so I just made sure we were both amply cautious.

That's Close Enough I'm slightly uneasy even looking at it in the photo -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
That's Close Enough
I'm slightly uneasy even looking at it in the photo
desktop background image of Anthony overlooking Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona -- Thinking Big -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Thinking Big
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800

The way he's lying down in the photo above does not trigger my twisted-gut feeling, probably because it doesn't bother me to do it myself. But sitting or standing close gives me the willies.

In this next shot, he's not really very close, though I suppose it looks it.

Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Eventually I started to make my way to where people were...

Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Like Ants -- Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm — 1/640 sec, f/14, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Like Ants

To be continued...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Do you find that the XUME magnetic filter holder stays on the lens very well? I’m thinking of trying one with my neutral density filters.

I’ve been using them for many years, and have mixed feelings about them. I always use the lens hood with them, which protects them from being bumped off. Without the lens hood, a bump can knock them right off. They can also cause vignetting, as you can see. But being able to quickly remove/swap filters seems to be worth the inconvenience to me. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom in SF on September 10th, 2015 at 12:12am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I check your blog once a week. Your photos are absolutely spectacular, like a travelogue.

— comment by Ohio Ann on September 11th, 2015 at 3:20am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffery,

You’re in my back yard. Actually I am down in Phoenix. The area around page is quite spectacular.
The lack of barriers at Horse Shoe Bend is normal for parks on Navajo Lands. Personally I couldn’t get myself to venture closer then twenty feet to the edge. When I visited the location a tourist dog, (leashed), just about ran off the edge only to saved by his owner yanking him back from eternity.

The area just north of the Dam into Utah is a beautiful valley to photograph in. I was able to get a tour of the exclusive Aman Group resort, Amangiri, which is twenty minute north into Utah. I have two portfolios from that region. The first is of Amangiri, http://www.rosen-ducat.com/p1049778433
the second is from the page area, http://www.rosen-ducat.com/landscape-photography-page-arizona-leesferry-colorado-river Hope you enjoyed the area, if you find your self down in phoenix drop me an email, I’d love to buy you a cold beer. Best wishes,
Allan

— comment by allan R-D on September 13th, 2015 at 1:19am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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