Sabbatical Part 3: Grand Canyon

After 2 weeks in Vegas we were ready to get the heck out of the city and back home to Iowa. We loaded Bob (our car) and hit the road with one last sight to see on our checklist: the Grand Canyon. Jim Dale made our drive a lot more fun with his audio recording of Harry Potter 7 which we listened to in preparation for the big movie this Summer. We arrived at the Grand Canyon just in time for sunset, which gave us 30 minutes to capture the first image below before it got too dark to shoot. Our initial plan was to keep driving, but after catching a glimpse of the Canyon we changed our plans and spent the night so we could have a little more time to gawk in the morning. We woke up early to hit the trail for a sunrise hike and a few more photos before hitting the road again. Despite the shortness of the stop, it was well worth the detour. The Canyon is so epically huge that photos can't possibly do it justice (despite our best efforts) and it's something you should make a note to see in your lifetime. Please enjoy our photos and leave your feedback in the comments!

Sabbatical Part 2: Utah

Salutations! After our stint in Colorado we spent a couple days driving through Utah. We've been working on expanding our fine art portfolio and had the opportunity to photograph some breathtaking landscapes. The neat thing about Utah in the Winter is we were literally all alone pretty much everywhere we went (in the Summertime the parks are packed). Our first stop was Arches National Park, where we made a sunrise hike and kicked things off with a self portrait:Delicate Arch:Windows: Intermission: After Arches we spent an afternoon at Zion National Park where we embarked on literally the most beautiful hike of our lives. It was relatively steep and treacherous near the end, but the view was worth it: Here's a peek at the trail, which drops off on either side: We'll wrap things up with a nighttime self portrait from Zion (30 second exposure):

We shot way more than we've had time to edit on the road, so keep your eyes peeled for some more images in the future. If you ever get a chance to drive through Utah, we highly recommend it. Stay tuned for Sabbatical Part 3: Las Vegas!


Sabbatical Part 1: Colorado

Hello! In case you haven't heard, we recently embarked upon 2011 McClanahan Studio Winter Sabbatical. According to definition, a sabbatical is the following: "A period of time when a faculty member is not working , but concentrating on his/her own education or research."

We are taking an epic road trip intertwined with work and play (all educational, of course). We loaded up our 1995 Ford Contour, "Bob," and hit the road immediately following the PPI conference mentioned in the previous blog post. Here's us and Bob, tearing up the asphalt in style:

We started our trip with play...Over the weekend we met up with Alex's brother Josh + his wife Steph + our friend Jess at Copper Mountain in Colorado for some epic snowboarding. Here's the whole crew:

Somehow we got talked into taking a snowcat and hiking to the top of the toughest slope at the resort (where no lifts go, because it's where all the fresh powder was) and somehow managed to avoid death. Here's proof:

And some more random snaps (all taken with our Droid X, which has a surprisingly good camera)

From Colorado we drove to Utah to spend a couple days hiking in the wilderness and photographing landscapes (where we are currently). Tomorrow we drive to Vegas to teach at After Dark: Vegas and hang out at WPPI. You won't want to miss our next Sabbatical post – we've been fortunate to witness some breathtaking stuff the last couple days and we're pumped out of our minds to get some shots edited so we can share them! Gotta give a shout out to Peter and Kathy Holcombe (check out their web site) for helping us map out our route through Utah and letting us spend the night at their place on the first leg of our drive! They'll also be teaching at After Dark :)

More soon...