A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to go with two of my very dearest friends and their daughters to hike Kanarraville Falls (outside Cedar City, UT). My daughters sadly couldn’t make it.

As part of this excursion, I told them I would share a few photo techniques. Well, nothing ever goes as planned and so I only managed to squeak out one tip…well, maybe two. Panoramas come in handy in areas like this. But the main tip is pretty darn cool. Have you ever heard of the app Slow Shutter Cam? It is a cool little piece of magic to work with your iPhone! (I don’t know if it’s available for Android.)

From what I understand, smart phones can’t hold a shutter open like a regular camera. So Slow Shutter Cam takes many little photos and ‘blurs them together (if I’m remembering my reading correctly). So you know those beautiful waterfall photos with the soft, ethereal waters? Yeah. You can do that with your phone…and so much more! You can check it out in greater detail on their site HERE.

So that was the plan. Bring our little Gorilla Pods (tripods), set up the shot and play. Um. Yeah. Well? That didn’t pan out like we’d thought. The base of the first falls was all water. No place to put a little baby tripod, not to mention it was quite shaded due to the high rock walls except for one part where sun was brightly beaming. Not exactly the best photo-taking conditions. Up the ladder we went to the second part of the falls. More open. Some dry rocks to sit on, but the falls on the left was in those stark–light and dark conditions, and one was in the shade, but again, nowhere to place a little tripod.

I wasn’t going to let that get in my way. So I took the prop+hold method. I leaned myself and the phone against a rock–that was in the shade–held as still as I could, took a breath and pushed the button. You can set the app to have a delay so that it doesn’t immediately start shooting after pressing the button to avoid any camera shake. I had to do it a few times, but I got a couple good shots where everything was pretty much in focus.

Here’s the result.

photo app example web

The one on the left is just taken as a straight shot with my iPhone 6s. The one of the right I propped myself and phone against the rock and held as still as possible. I was leaning on the yellowish part of the rock that you see in the photo on the left. Lisa even pushed the button for me a couple times so that I wouldn’t move at all.

Mission accomplished!

How cool is this! You can use different settings depending on the blur effect you want. I won’t go into all those details. You can read/watch them on their site. But seriously…if you want that look, what a way to get it!

And now here’s….the rest…of the story….

We had so much fun on the trip. I wish I was in better shape, but I did the hike nonetheless, albeit a little slow. There were a couple of things that made it a little more difficult for me, but I won’t bore you with that. ;)

If you have an opportunity, I’d highly recommend this hike! The sign says ‘difficult’, but I saw many families with young kids and even a mom with a baby. And most of what I read about it said easy-moderate. It’s a five-mile hike in and out. Loved having my Keen shoes for hiking and getting in the water! I’d also recommend going very first thing in the morning because there wasn’t anyone in the parking lot when we got there at 8:30 a.m. We met two sisters who were there from New Hampshire and a family from Hawaii. So word has gotten around about this little hike. You can park in the parking lot for $10 (worth it!) or park a mile away in the little town (why would you do that??? lol ).

Another suggestion would be to stick to the stream. Not having been there before, we followed a few trails that led us away from that. Walk through the stream, cross the stream, get on the dirt paths by the stream, but stay near the stream. On the way back we walked through a lot of the stream and it was a much easier hike. Also, be prepared for cold water, especially depending on the time of day or the time of year. You do get used to it. Also, this is the water source for the town of Kanrraville, so be mindful of that. Be respectful of where you are.

And now here are some photos of our adventures.

Oh, I ended up using my iPhone a lot because my Fuji X-T10 was in my backpack. So this is a mix of both cameras.



Beauty, eh? I can’t believe places like this exist and that we can experience them. To say that I was in awe is an understatement. And Lisa, who’s been on many-a hikes, said this was the best hike she’s ever been on.

And then here’s one last peek at what it’s like to walk through those slot canyons. Something I’ll never forget.