5 INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN UTAH

Utah is your next destination. The deserts, the canyons, the hot weather, the National Parks, etc. But wait until you see it in person; you'll want to capture its landscape over and over again.

Here are 5 spots not to be missed in Utah and how to capture them perfectly!


 CREDITS: Urban Capture.

CREDITS: Urban Capture.

1. DELICATE ARCH - ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

Where to shoot -

From Salt Lake City, take I-15 S, US-6 E, I-70 E and US-191 S to Arches Entrance Road in Grand County. Upon getting there, the scenery is already worth taking your camera out of its bag. Park at Delicate Arch parking and hike all the way to the Arch. It's an easy 3-mile round trip hike but make sure to bring water: things can get hot. At a certain point, we thought of cooking an egg on the rocks. Yeah, that hot!

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 How to shoot -

Being on Utah's license plate, the Arch has been taken in picture over a million times. Here's how to make an outstanding photo. When you reach the Arch, you'll see the ground drops almost 270˚ around it. Walk down this slope in front of the arch a little bit to make the Arch look more prominent in your frame. With a medium-wide-angle (24-35mm), place the Arch right in the middle of your frame to show how it stands in the landscape. Focus on one of the “legs” of the Arch. Shoot. Got it.

 

When to shoot -

Things can get crazy at Delicate Arch. There can be hundreds of people taking pictures at any time of the day. We recommend getting there as early as possible for two reasons.

1. To avoid the crowds.

2. Because the morning light will make the rocks look like they are pink. Yes. Pink. It's amazing. 


 CREDITS: @mariepier.bastien and @domfaucher

CREDITS: @mariepier.bastien and @domfaucher

2. FORREST GUMP POINT - MONUMENT VALLEY

Where to shoot -

This is where Forrest Gump stops his legendary run to tell the other runners behind him "I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home now." The exact location is at mile marker 13 on Highway US 163.

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 How to shoot -

You can shoot this landscape with many different focal lengths since there is a lot of depth to the scenery (it's basically a very long, very straight road with a couple of Mesas in the background). However, we found that shooting at ground level with a medium-wide focal length (24mm) adds a lot of richness to the image, especially if you go for a centered composition. Just make sure there isn't any car coming from behind you if you get in the middle of the street. Otherwise, you'll make a mess.

When to shoot -

The timing really depends on which kind of picture you are looking for. You can basically shoot Forrest Gump Point at any time during the day. However, keep in mind that sunsets and sunrises will have smoother lighting and fewer tourists. Our bet, grab a coffee and go around 4 AM.


 CREDITS: Videoblocks

CREDITS: Videoblocks

3. BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS

Where to shoot -

Approximately 90 minutes west of Salt Lake City on I-80 are the Bonneville Salt Flats, a 12-mile long and 5-mile wide salt desert that looks like a scene from The Last Jedi movie. A salt paradise for your Instagram feed.

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How to shoot -

It all depends on what you are looking for. If you want something very plain and white, go for the widest lens you can: the mountains in the back will get very small. If you want something a bit more conventional, any standard lens will do, and you will clearly see the horizon and the mountains in the background.

Fun tip: this spot is perfect for optical illusions. The farther you are on the flats from the camera, the smaller you will look compared to someone that is really close to it (see example). Be silly! Have fun! 

 

When to shoot -

Now there is a technical aspect to take into consideration: the flats are wet during the spring, meaning you have a lake like reflection instead of a white patch of salt on the ground. If you want to park and walk on the flats to try different angles, you might want to visit during warmer months (May-October).


 CREDITS: Backpacker Magazine

CREDITS: Backpacker Magazine

4. ANGEL LANDING TRAIL - ZION NATIONAL PARK

Where to shoot -

It's a short hike (about a 5-mile round trip) to get to one of the famous awesome-picture-taking-spots of Utah: Angel Landing Trail. However, beware of the drop-offs on both sides of the path. If you don't like heights, you will get dizzy. But when you get to the top, you'll have a 360˚ view of pure awesomeness.

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 How to shoot -

First, pack light and pack tight. If you drop a cell phone or a lens cap -or worst, a camera- it is pretty much over. You have plenty of vantage points along the way, but we suggest two options:

1. The final 1/2 mile: this is just before you reach the end of the trail. You'll have a small stream of water on your left and a very narrow path with chains in front of you. Take a picture right there to show people how crazy the hike is.

2. The Canyon shot: this is the classic shot of the canyon. Put the center of the frame right where the farthest end of the valley is. And that's it.

 

When to shoot -

You have to go very early in the morning to avoid extreme temperature AND to get the best light of the day. We do not recommend going in the evening since you won't see a thing climbing down (ie. Danger).


 CREDITS: Moab Adventure Center

CREDITS: Moab Adventure Center

6. DEAD HORSE POINT

Where to shoot -

From Salt Lake City, drive south for 4 hours. When you get on UT-313 W, don't panic, you're not on planet Mars. You're at Dead Horse Point. Go to the end of the trail, get out of your car and walk where the lookout is.

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How to shoot -

Right in front of you, you will have some kind of horseshoe bend in the river. This is the classic shot you are looking for. Try framing your picture with a medium length lens (around 24mm) to make sure you have enough depth in your composition. Adjust your focus on the horseshoe, and click!

 

When to shoot -

We always go there in the evening because the lighting is just fantastic. The sun sets right at the horizon in front of you, above the river. Perfect setup for a postcard.

 

Enough said. Grab your camera, recharge your batteries, (lots of them) and hit the road. Do not hesitate to tag us on your masterpieces with the hashtag #nativevanlife or #nativecampervans for us to repost. Safe travels!