White Pockets is a unique area of windswept sandstone near Kanab, UT. The sandstone there is not the typical red rock found in most of the Colorado Plateau – it’s not only white, but also yellow, orange, and even purple in places. And there’s Brainrock! It’s an amazingly interesting place for photographers. Jeff finds White Pocket to be more interesting than even another near-by location, The Wave. And White Pocket has many more locations to shoot than The Wave.
The roads that access White Pocket consists of deep sand and patches of sharp rock. Four-wheel drive and high clearance are required. Don’t try this road unless you have experience driving under these conditions AND a vehicle that meets these requirements. Don’t try it with a car or even a RAV4-type vehicle. Don’t take a rental vehicle as you will violate your rental agreement. If you get stuck, towing fees will run about $1000 – $2000! THIS IS A DEMANDING ROAD!
Jeff recommends not going alone – bring a buddy or two. Go with someone that knows the road or better yet, an authorized guide. It’s at least 2.5 hours for help to get there if you are stuck or have a medical emergency.
Aaron got composition paralysis upon arrival, so he took a few shots with his phone, and then found some locations that the got super excited about. Using the wide-angle distortion of his Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 , Aaron used the leading lines of the wind-blown sandstone to frame up a shot. But the clouds were changing fast as sunset approached…
Jeff and Aaron are looking forward to bringing Brendon out there someday – it’s going to be like watching a seven-year old opening presents at Christmas time!
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Update from Episode 78 – We talked in about using the Metabones Speed Booster adaptors for Sony – they are for APS-C cameras, and not full frame. The speed boosting feature is not fully compatible with Sony Full Frame cameras – they are supposed to switch the Sony FF cameras into “APS-C Size Capture”. They should work fine with Sony APS-C cameras.
Aaron found his Tamron was giving him color fringing on the edges of the frame. He finds this lens works great for Astro, but he wasn’t happy with some of the photos he took with it at White Pocket. Jeff suggested letting the camera convert the image from RAW to JPG by saving them as RAW+JPG when shooting. The camera conversion process Jeff says, in some cases, can make a JPG that sometimes looks better than the RAW, even when humans do the JPG processing.
Jeff recommends bringing Sunpie Emergency Traction Mats They can be used to help your vehicle to get out of mud, sand, or snow. They cost about $70 for a pair on Amazon. For a sandy place like White Pocket, two pair of these might be best.
Jeff’s final recommendation – If you go to White Pocket for Milky Way shooting, use lots of light when walking around. It’s easy to turn an ankle there so make sure you can see where you’re walking.