Little Sahara And Family Time

This past weekend my wife and I took a drive out to the Little Sahara Recreation Area here in Utah. The purpose really was to scout out some locations for future photo shoots. We’d never been out there and I had been meaning to check it out for some time.

Man, what an amazing place for photography. Whether you’re looking for landscapes or portrait shots, it really is an amazing place.

Little Sahara is a Utah hot spot for dune buggies, motor bikes and other off road vehicles, so there are generally a lot of people flying around. However they have designated several hundred acres of area in which it’s foot traffic only. That’s where we stuck to.

My photo ventures are by and large excuses to get out and about as a family. I rope my wife into posing for pics and I rope my son into being my assistant. Either way we end up spending much of the day in various locations.

Above is a pic of “the crew.” Well, to be fair, it’s really my son and wife. But the point is that we get out, hang out, bond as a family, etc., and the whole time the “purpose” is to take pics. That’s the great part because taking pics really isn’t the purpose at all. It’s simply a pretext to getting out. That being said, my wife and son will tell you that I’m pretty adamant about having everything I need to take a ton of pics. Generally my son holds lights, moves lights or whatever I need him to do. On this day, however, he was simply the goat as exemplified by the backpack full of crap.

We wandered around a bit exploring and you can see why it’s called Little Sahara. It’s literally thousands of acres of sand dunes punctuated by some brush and juniper trees, but largely just a barren landscape. We only had to walk about 50 yards from the road we were parked to be in almost complete isolation. It was a bit chilly since it is November so we decided to get down to business and get the photo thing over with pretty quick. One thing to keep in mind if you make the trip is that it’s sandy. I mean REAL sandy. It’s windy so it’s blowing sand around a lot hence the dunes. I can’t say this strongly enough.

It’s SANDY. I’m still finding sand in places that I never even thought were exposed. Keep that in mind with regards to your camera gear.

Anyway, we fired off a few shots and this is the keeper that I’m happy with:

Little Sahara, Utah
Sahara: ISO 100, 50mm, f2.8, 1/2000 sec

Though I’m pretty happy with this pic, in hindsight I wish I’d shot this with a smaller aperture to make the background sharp. The blur is OK, but it should either be sharp or a lot more blurry. I even thought about doing it in post production. I still might.

We were in a bit of a hurry because it was too cold for summer attire, so we wrapped it up pretty quickly.

Anyway, for those of you in Utah, Little Sahara is an amazing place for photography. I highly recommend making the trip.