Zion National Park

Zion Nationl Park


During our visit to the “Mighty Five” National Parks in Utah last year, I found the most difficult park to photograph was Zion. This is because the main part of the park is a narrow canyon with steep rock walls. Unless you are physically capable of climbing/hiking up to high vantage points above the canyon, it is not possible to move far away from any one point to get a good perspective and most of the time there were little or no reference points for scale.

What attracted my interest in Zion and throughout that region was the amazing effects of erosion, almost exclusively the effect of moving water. The deep canyon that forms Zion NP was formed by the Virgin River, a tributary of the Colorado River. It is amazing how such a small stream can cut such a swath through solid rock. The river and rainwater runoff combined with freeze-thaw cycles in cracks in the rocks carved a beautiful hidden valley. The challenges I discovered in photographing in this area did not in any way reduce my joy in seeing these places for the first time. I tried to imagine what the canyon would have been like when first discovered by humans. Must have bee amazing. Today, of course, Zion is one of the most visited parks. Getting there early is a must, even in the off-peak periods in the spring and fall.

Continuing the efforts described in a previous post, my initial goal is to find one image from each of the national parks. I offer this image as my view of Zion.

The image was taken early in the morning (well … not that early but early for me … ). The sky was crystal clear and the sunlight was bright and contrasty. The effect was to provide high relief on the details of the cliff.

I felt that finishing in black and white was the best way. The rock was generally yellow-ish, the sky was a uniform blue, and the trees were pretty much all green. But I did not feel the colors added anything to the scene. What attracts me is the shape and the effect of the light on the shadows and textures.

~ by Rsmith on April 12, 2018.

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