In June I will be going to Las Vegas for a show. Afterwards I think I can spare a little less than three days taking pictures around the area. Here is my preliminary plan, and what do you think?
Day 1: Rent a car from Las Vegas and drive straight to Page, Arizona. Plan on taking sunset pictures at Horseshoe Bend.
Day 2: Attend the Canyon X Photo Tour hosted by Overland Canyon Tours. Originally I planned on going to the Antelope Canyons, but I read that there is going to be so much traffic inside that it would be nearly impossible to take great photos, especially when the light beams happen in the middle of the day. Hopefully the experience would be more pleasant and enjoyable if I went to the less crowded Canyon X. After that, I will drive to Zion and try to catch some sunset shots. I've never been there, but read that probably the easiest and best location for sunset there would be either the bridge over the Virgin River near the Canyon Junction shuttle stop, or the view south of the Virgin River with the Watchman in the background, which has an iconic view of Zion. After finishing the sunset shots, I will start driving back to Nevada.
Day 3: Sunrise pictures at the Valley of Fire, and then probably spend as much time as I can there so long as the light remains decent. I have to be back at the McCarran Airport no later than 5:30pm, so sunset is going to be out of the question.
As my schedule is rather tight, this is probably the best itinerary I can come up with. I welcome any suggestions or comments from anyone who knows the area well. And if there are any decent hotels that you can recommend along the way, please let me know.
Since there is going to be some hiking involved with the Canyon X tour, I would like to travel "lighter". I shoot with a Hasselblad H3D2 50mp, and the only lenses I am planning to bring are the 28mm and 35-90mm. Do you think I will need a telephoto lens, such as 150mm or 210mm, either for Valley of Fire or Zion? If so, which would you prefer?
Lastly, I am not sure if I should stay overnight in Springdale and and try to shoot sunrise at Zion the next morning or leave for Valley of Fire after sunset. It's just going to be a 2 hours drive, so I think I can manage that after sunset, and so the decision really comes down to which location would give me better sunrise photo opportunities?
Look forward to hearing any constructive comments. Many thanks.