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The Wave is a world famous photography location. Only 20 people a day are allowed to access it and a permit is required via lottery. Half the permits are allocated 3 months in advance via online lottery and the other half are awarded the day before via in-person drawing at the Bureau of Land Management Office in Kanab, Utah.
After hearing stories of photographers who failed for months and months to obtain a coveted permit, I was not optimistic that I would be successful either. After failing at the online lottery months before, I drove the 40 miles to the BLM office on the one day I had to enter the in-person drawing. Luck was with me and I scored permits for my wife and me.
Late summer is monsoon season in the southwestern US and we were told the access road was flooded by by an overflowing creek which our rental sedan would not be able to navigate successfully so a little panic started to set in. On top of that, my DSLR body totally failed the day before so I was faced with the prospect of going to this spectacular location with nothing more than a basic point and shoot.
Here I had a golden ticket but circumstances were conspiring against me! First thing I did was dash off to the local mega-department store in search of a new camera body. Luck was on my side as I bought the last DSLR they had in stock that was compatible with my lenses. The good karma continued as I was able to then contact a local guide with a high clearance vehicle who could get us to the trailhead. An overcast morning eventually gave way to clearing skies by early afternoon and the high midday sun provided some great contrast to the textured walls.
There was definitely an embarrassment of riches in this location. Everywhere I looked there was one spectacular scene after another. It was almost too overwhelming to narrow down compositions. The reflection in the small pool leftover from the previous day's rain just added another element to an already spectacularly framed location. Just one image from the most amazing photography day of my life.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor