Zion Canyon (click on graphic to enlarge)
The Lord of Leisure Photo Gallery
Editorial Note: After a too long hiatus, the Lord of Leisure Photo Gallery returns with photos from Zion National Park. After previewing these, I find myself reverting to clichés such as “breathtaking” and “awesome,” which are so attenuated from casual use that they fail to convey how deeply impressive these scenes are. Thank goodness, we have photos, eh? Regardless, I think viewers will be as impressed as I am with these pictures.
Lord of Leisure writes:
Zion National Park in Utah offers spectacular vistas for photographers, especially in the fall and spring. Heeding the consensus among the knowledgeable sources I polled that the potential for such shots in the fall season peak in early November, Hippie With Tiara and I arrived October 30, 2007 to spend a week stalking scenes that displayed the colors of fall set against the backdrop of Zion Canyon’s magnificent sandstone walls.
From conversations with residents and photographers who were returning to Zion after shooting there previously, it appears, even after discounting for the inevitable “You should have been here last year” comments that locals are apparently obligated to make whenever they spy someone photographing an outdoor setting, that 2007 had been too dry to produce optimal colors in the Park.
We also shared our week at Zion with a high pressure system which resulted in sunny, warm days that were a pleasant environment for hiking but a subpar one for photographing fall panoramas, an effort abetted by overcast skies – or better yet, a bit of rain – to bring out the characteristic yellow, orange, gold, and red hues.
Zion Canyon is, however, so rich in dramatic content, opulent textures, and brilliant pigments that even when it is not at its photographic apogee, it rewards those who willing to trek through its trails and brush in search of the “right” location with tableaux featuring soaring sandstone cliffs with vertical drops of 2,000 feet into a labyrinth of slot canyons, interlaced with windows and tunnels like a piece of stone lacework, all presented in hues that range from muted grays and yellows to riotous, almost oversaturated colors that seem to put the viewer at risk of chromatic overload. Oh, and there’s also a river with a waterfall or two.
Today’s photo was shot with one of my favorite techniques, using with a long telephoto lens to reach out and isolate a small portion of the scene. This simplifies the composition and allows me to concentrate on form, color and texture. In this case, the attraction, in my eyes, is the fascinating variety of color (primary and pastel) in the vegetation against the backdrop of the canyon wall that was itself bathed in sunlight reflected from the opposite side of the canyon. Some of the colors are, at least to one raised in the less gaudy spectrum of the Midwest, so unexpected that I find it necessary to note that the photo is an accurate representation of the scene as viewed that day.