CANYONLAND is a timelapse film showcasing the slot canyons of Escalante, Utah. Slot canyons are narrow passageways carved out over thousands of years by water from flash floods. These rivers of stone are deep chasms in the earth and contain unspeakable beauty.
My goal was to capture specific spots that had never been filmed before. A few of these canyons were fairly easy to access, though, nothing is easy in Southern Utah, during the monsoon season with 50 lbs of camera gear on your back.
Many of these canyons were difficult to find and some required carrying my camera bag on my head while trudging through shoulder-high mucky water and hoping that it doesn't rain. Slot canyons are extremely dangerous when it rains, and without any exits, they can take your life in as little as 15 minutes of rain.
Because it was the monsoon season, I tried to play it as safe as possible, but occasionally I put myself in dangerous situations in my efforts to get shots, and in one instance, I just made it out as the water was rising past my shoulders. I always seemed to have plenty of camera equipment but never enough food or water. August in Utah requires carrying a lot of water, and with the gear I lugged into these canyons, it was difficult to carry the 3 liters of water needed to survive.
Thankfully I found Excursions of Escalante, a professional guide service, run by Rick Green, who took me rappelling into some stunning secluded canyons. Rick taught me techniques for traversing through these narrow canyons safely, which were invaluable when I was alone.
People die in these canyons every year and all I can say is: Do not hike alone, without enough food or water, in August with a huge pack full of camera gear, and no map. Ok, I did all of those and worse but I pushed myself to get the shots and it was an experience that I'll never forget!
Shot on Canon 6d and 60d with L-series 14mm 2.8 and 24-105mm with 10-stop ND filter.
Motion control made possible by the Stage One Dolly by Dynamic Perception.
Edited with Lightroom, Lrtimelapse, After Effects and Final Cut Pro 7
Music by: Michael Nyman (with permission)
Title: The Departure
Purchase on itunes @ itunes.apple.com/us/artist/michael-nyman/id281045
Thank you to Mr. Michael Nyman who allowed me to use his beautiful music.
Video licensing available through bodhifilms.com