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The Floating Head of Hoodoo

By: LeRoy Zimmerman

 

Region: Americas

Site: Bryce Canyon - USA

Date: 2010

From the photographer: "The most famous hoodoo of Bryce National Park in Utah, Thor's Hammer, was bathed in moonlight this night, and standing out on its own. There is just enough moonlit shadow beneath the 'head' of the Hammer so that it appears to be floating above the neck of rock. Woah, eerie! Bryce is a 'down' park, by which I mean the main features of the park are viewed by looking down into a canyon, below the horizon, as are places like the Grand Canyon and Canyonlands. Some parks are 'up' parks, where the main features of the park rise above the horizon, such as places like Arches Park, and Yellowstone. Trying to take horizontal panoramas looking down into the canyons pretty much eliminates including any sky, and completely takes away any chance of having anything silhouetted against the sky. So to get this shot of this hoodoo against the sky, I had to hike about 1/4 mile down the trail into the canyon so that I could look up to get this view, and include some night sky in the shot. I could not really go any lower as the trial made a turn and Thor's Hammer would disappear from view. This would have been a good place to take a vertical shot, but I never shoot vertical images, as the goal of my photography is to represent the natural view we see as humans, viewing the world around us in the pano format created by our side by side eyes. So yes, this is very much the way it looked that night, with these wonderful rock shapes all around me illuminated by the moon. I added a very slight touch of white LED light to the top of the hoodoo, just to try and separate it a bit from the background. I now think one of the best ways to shoot this park at night would be to hike down into the bottom of the park, and spend the night down there shooting on a clear moonlit night, then coming back up to the rim just before morning. Maybe my next trip." LeRoy Zimmerman/Photosymphony.com

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