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GOLDEN TURTLE 2013 – Finalist in Landscape


Space. Sun Halo Over Bryce Canyon.

While standing next to me on Inspiration Point overlook of The Bryce Canyon, a buddy of mine once said: “My brain is lagging”. I remembered that phrase very well. This computer slang gave the best description of what was happening in our mind.
Truly the Bryce Canyon is not just another attraction in the USA; it is one of the very few places on our planet that puzzles our human mind unable to find logical explanation and process visual information. So if you ever happen to be in The Bryce Canyon – don’t panic. Remember, you weren’t teleported, you did not lose your senses, and you aren’t hallucinating. This gigantic forest of orange and rose asparagus is very real.
My idea was to take series of aerial panoramas of Bryce Canyon covered in fresh snow because it looks even more mysterious covered in white. So I flew in with my friend (and fortunately the pilot) just before heavy snowfall began.
We’ve spent two days waiting for snow to stop. Finally it was clear February predawn hour after 48 hours of heavy snowfall. The temperature was -25°C and clear endless sky was filled with flickering stars.
Being accustomed to the warmth of Arizona prairies, the starter of our helicopter made an unclear sound and went silent. A spare battery, which we brought with us, did not improve the situation. Something deep inside this warmth-loving Arizona bird was hopelessly frozen. Another snow-storm was in the forecast for early afternoon. I was preparing for this shoot for almost a year and simply could not afford to surrender. We managed to find the only local owner of a mobile diesel heater and warm up our covered-in-tarp “heli”. In one and a half hour we removed the doors and took off! Only a little bit of work was left – the actual shooting. Neither the -25°C temperature, nor the wind that was already beginning to pick-up were able to stop us.
NIKON D3X; Sigma 15mm ƒ/2.8 D EX FishEye 180 for Nikon at 15mm; 1/800 sec ƒ/5.6; ISO: 100;
180° two-rows stitched panorama taken from Robinson R44 helicopter in hover.
 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA
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