Alex Mody Photography

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Utah



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  • Utah

    Subway Hike, Left Fork of North Creek, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

    11.17.11 | Permalink | 3 Comments

    The Left Fork of North Creek is one of the most beautiful canyons, and certainly one of the most most popular day hikes within Zion National Park. The canyon carved by the Left Fork is home to many picturesque waterfalls and rapids, but the most memorable section of the canyon is called “The Subway,” an incredible, tubular, half-mile stretch of slot canyon that, well, resembles the shape of a round subway tunnel!

    The Subway is most easily accessed by a 9.5 mile round trip hike, from the Left Fork Trailhead, in the west side of the park. It is not hard to reach, by any means, but the hike is fairly time consuming due to the fact that once you descend the 400 vertical feet of switchbacks into the canyon, there is no official trail along the rest of the way. Hiking, wading, bushwhacking, and scrambling up and over gigantic boulders and river banks for four miles each way can take hours, and be downright exhausting at times – despite presenting little to no physical challenge to the average hiker. It is worth noting that the National Park Service issues a quota of 50 daily hiking permits for this area, to control erosion and other damage to natural resources. So, to complete this hike, you must pick up a permit from the park office in Springdale. They can be reserved online here.

    In the autumn, when the cottonwoods and box elders are changing colors, many trees drop their leaves into the creek upstream of the Subway. These leaves, trapped in the Subway’s many shallow pools, swirl around in eddies indefinitely until water levels rise enough to push them further downstream.

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    Subway Swirls : Prints Available

    Just a few hundred yards downstream of the Subway, the Left Fork has cut a narrow fissure into the sandstone, creating the famous and aptly titled, “Crack.” In the autumn, many leaves are blown from trees, and stick to the wet rocks that surround the Crack. I took it upon myself to re-arrange them in a slightly more photogenic manner. Some people may frown upon this, including myself at times, but in this situation, I just couldn’t resist the urge.

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    The Crack : Prints Available

    Additionally, a few hundred more yards downstream of the Subway and Crack, are the 30 foot-tall series of cascades that tumble over layers of sandstone, combining to create Archangel Falls. This waterfall, located underneath a massive sandstone enclave and surrounded on both sides by cottonwood and juniper trees, is an amazing sight to behold – especially in the autumn. I can see how a waterfall in the Utah desert could be a bit of a strange concept, but the stark contrast between the rushing water and red sandstone is a feast for the eyes!

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    Archangel Cascades : Prints Available

  • Utah

    Hidden Wonders, Kanarra Creek Canyon, Utah, USA

    11.05.11 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    In the desert of Arizona and Utah, slot canyons come in many shapes and sizes, but very few offer colorful red sandstone, brilliant reflected light, and are fed by a perennial spring – with multiple waterfalls along the way. It’s always a treat to find photogenic water features in an otherwise arid desert, but to find a mile-long slot filled with rapids and waterfalls is just incredible. If we had visited a week or two earlier, during the apex of the fall color action, we would have been able to throw striking yellow foliage into the mix as well. It’s all good, though, as I will save that for one of the many more times I plan to visit!

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    Chamber of Light : Prints Available

    On a blustery 35-degree day, my friend Chris Kayler and I set out to hike, wade, and climb our way into the slot, photographing along the way. After being abandoned by the deceivingly warm sunlight, it was far from comfortable in the dark canyon, even though we had armed ourselves with multiple layers of synthetic clothing, and chest waders to keep dry. There were a few waterfalls we were able to easily scramble over and around, but particularly memorable, was this slippery ~20-foot high log ladder (photo found on Google) toward the bottom of the canyon, that we very gingerly stepped our way up.

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    Kanarra Flow : Prints Available

    Almost like a pint-sized version of the Virgin Narrows in Zion, Kanarra Canyon’s tall, wide, openings allowed for strong, unhindered sunlight to shine in and bounce from wall to wall, naturally creating the brilliant red-orange glow seen in these photographs. When this saturated, vibrant natural glow is juxtaposed with shaded canyon walls, cool blue water, and even foliage, truly magical things can happen. The subtle beauty of this intimate canyon has had a lasting effect on me, and has easily been one of the highlights of this autumn journey I am on.

    Hidden Beauty : Prints Available

  • -Articles-, Arizona, Utah

    Monsoon Light

    01.23.11 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    This article is featured here on Naturescapes.net. This past summer, I traveled and photographed for two weeks in Northern Arizona, chasing after the dramatic skies that so enthusiastically present themselves in tandem with the monsoon thunderstorms and intense 100+ degree heat. Simply put, the monsoon is a daily series of extremely powerful and isolated low-pressure systems that begin to build around midday, caused by the extreme heat of the land disagreeing with the cool, moist air coming off the oceans. While some may think that it’s absolutely preposterous to head out to the desert in ridiculous summer heat, the truth is that thanks to the monsoon, there are incredible photographic opportunities and dramatic cloud formations that are not readily available in any other season. To many photographers’ delight, these monsoon storms tend to dissolve immediately before sunset, often creating beautifully colorful and interesting skies.

    On one particularly eventful afternoon and evening in Arizona’s Vermillion Cliffs NM this past August, the monsoon put on perhaps it’s finest show that I have yet to witness. As I waited for hours in the locale referred to as “White Pocket,” under the continuous rumble of thunder, deep, dark skies, and multiple torrential downpours, I seriously doubted things would clear up by sunset – this series of storms was just too strong, I thought. I relaxed in my tent and read a book.

    An hour or so before sunset, after being teased by the skies brightening and darkening three or four times and not thinking much of it, the storm broke in what seemed to have been a split second. As the storm receded, it left behind an intricate patchwork of mammatus to accompany it’s tall, dark clouds. Seizing the opportunity, I composed a few black-and-white images.

    As the sun became lower and lower in the sky, it lit up the entire cumulonimbus formation all the way until it’s very last rays of the day. Having scouted many locations in the area with this in mind, I climbed up onto my favorite section of brain-rock, waited until the light was just right, and fired away.

    Feeling greedy after such fantastic light, I stuck around and photographed in the idyllic “desert glow,” twenty or so minutes after sundown. As the storm clouds further dissipated, I was able to pull one additional “keeper” from the gorgeous conditions nature presented to me. What a day!

  • Utah

    The Narrows of Spooky Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, USA

    10.31.10 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    Happy Halloween, everybody! I have more waterfalls and autumn foliage coming next week. Until then, here’s one from my southwestern travels this past summer. It was 104 degrees this day, which surprisingly, didn’t feel as bad as I had feared it might have. Anyway, Spooky Gulch is an incredible slot, and while the sandstone may not have the same vibrant colors as a few of the more popular canyons on Navajo land, it makes up for that in other ways. Below is a photo from one of my favorite passages of the slot.


  • Utah

    The Hidden Passage, Spooky Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

    So, my vehicle is repaired, and we’re on the road again! Chris and I are headed back into the Colorado Rockies for some wildflower action. For now, we’re trying to make the most out of the high pressure weather and clear skies, but the monsoon should start kickin’ again soon.

    Anyway, we had an absolutely great time exploring the washes, slickrock, and slot canyons in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument! It was a whopping 104 degrees fahrenheit out in the open, but it felt quite pleasant in the shaded slots and under canyon walls. Our day included a nice sunrise shoot, hiking three beautiful slots, an hour-long nap in the shade, a delicious “Subway Fresh” meal, an attempted visit to Calf Creek Falls (The area was “closed…” Go figure!) and finally, I entered a sleepy, Wolves in the Throne Room-induced trance, and commenced a late night, high speed drive back to Moab! It was an insanely tiring day, but it was one of our best days of the trip so far.

    Here’s a photograph I like from Spooky Gulch. The reflected light down there, both blue from the sky, and orange from the sun/sandstone, is just unbelievable. You can’t really see it too well with the naked eye, but in a minute-long exposure at ISO 100, the colors really sing.

  • Utah

    Devil’s Garden, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, USA

    07.13.10 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    We’ve run into some vehicular difficulties on our trip. My trusty Toyota is stranded in Moab, Utah until Wednesday night, unfortunately. Chris and I decided to get a rental car so we didn’t end up stuck in Moab for five days, and have somehow ended up in Escalante, Utah, where we’re planning to make the most out of the clear skies by photographing slot canyons. We arrived a bit late tonight, and decided to take a quick late evening/sunset stop in the “Devil’s Garden” area of the monument. Here’s my favorite from tonight. I hope to write again soon of our slot canyon adventures!


  • Utah

    Frosted Aspens v2, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah, USA

    This image was taken in Utah’s Manti-La Sal National Forest. You might recognize the scene from this photograph, or maybe not. Regardless, I’m thinking I might like this one more, now.

    Please click the above image(s) to view larger.
    To purchase a print or stock rights, please contact me.

  • -News-, Utah

    Naturescapes.net 2009 Images of the Year Landscapes “Honorable Mention”

    I forgot to mention in my last post that my image “Frosted Aspens” was selected as an honorable mention in Naturescapes.net’s 2009 images of the year! You can view all of the winning and honorably mentioned photos here.

    Please click the above image(s) to view larger.

    To purchase a print or stock rights, please contact me.

  • Utah

    Snaux above Faux Falls

    04.26.09 | Permalink | 2 Comments

    This image was taken upstream of Faux Falls, easily my favorite place inside the Moab Valley. It had snowed a few inches, so I figured it’d make for some interesting photographs. This image is a double processed and blended RAW file. I’ve been feeling like my processing hasn’t been very good lately, so I’m trying to step that up a bit.

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    Please click the above image(s) to view larger.

    To purchase a print or stock rights, please contact me. Feel free to view more of my work at my website.

  • Utah

    Frosted Aspens

    04.25.09 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Taken high up in the Manti-La Sal National Forest back in December.

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    Please click the above image(s) to view larger.

    To purchase a print or stock rights, please contact me. Feel free to view more of my work at my website.




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