Photographers who go to Zion National Park probably end up with dozens (or even hundreds!) of this quintessential view of the Watchman. How can we resist?! It was overcast and drizzling when I got this shot but I added a few textures to age it a bit and I ended up with something a little different.
I’m hosting two meetups in Sedona next month and the big question is “Will we see color?!”. The answer is we won’t know til we get there. Stories are coming in from friends that fall color is late in Colorado so it might be late here too. If there’s no color, though, you can make your own with the help of photo software. These Oak leaves started as a pale shade of yellow/brown until I manipulated them with gradient maps, H/S, flipping, inverting, merging, compositing…..in other words….the hard way. I’m not poo-pooing apps….I just don’t have an iPhone/iPad and all the fun apps to play with 🙂
Photographing reflections is so much fun because you never know what you’ll get. At first, you probably won’t even see them but once you shoot a few, your eye becomes trained to recognize reflections immediately and you’ll start looking for them everywhere. The colors here are from the blue sky and green trees with a slight bit of orange from the canyon walls. I like shooting both to freeze the motion, which gives a glass-like look, and using a slow shutter speed such as this one. Tip: The best time to get good reflections is very early or very late in the day. This is a hand held shot of Virgin River at .5 second and f/22.
Of course I had to include at least one intentional camera movement image 🙂
Very old Cottonwood along Virgin River.
If you’ve ever been to Zion National Park, you’ve no doubt ended up with scores of photographers lined up at the Junction bridge waiting to capture the calendar shot of the Watchman at sunset. Been there, done that so this time I walked farther down the Pa’rus trail to find a little different view. It’s not sunset but close to it. Shot in HDR and processed in Photomatix. Photo Tip: When your subject is far away, there will be A LOT of foreground so make sure this foreground is interesting. Otherwise, consider moving or zooming in to your subject so you exclude anything that doesn’t add to your photo.
Many Trails in Zion reward you with spectacular and breathtaking views but are definitely not for the faint of heart. Some are so narrow in places (typically as you get higher) that chains, like the one pictured here, are installed for safety. Look more closely and you’ll see a hiker in a red shirt and the VERY narrow trail behind him. Photo tip of the day: Have a red jacket handy when you want a person in your photo for perspective. It really stands out better than any other color. The hiker’s red shirt in my photo was complete serendipity. Thanks Sir 🙂
Once the sun has set, the show is not over! If you have the patience to wait just a little longer, you’ll be treated to a special light. This scene was taken along the Pa’rus trail in Zion National Park.
An invaluable rule for photographers is to look up, down, all around and when they’ve done that, turn back in the opposite direction of where they’re shooting. I don’t always remember the last part when a trail is steep and difficult. I tend to forge ahead to reach my destination and only photograph scenes in front of me. But this time, I had the rule in mind and came away with two different compositions of this waterfall. Black and White thanks to Topaz B&W Effects. (Emerald Pools Trail, Zion National Park)