Oct 212014
Virgin River-0827

The Virgin river close to the Zion junction shuttle stop.

Zion National Park is one of my favourite national parks in the US, it is also one of the busiest. For example, if you want to take classic photographs at sunrise and sunset of The Watchman, then you will probably find yourself shoulder to shoulder with fellow photographers.

However, come back to the same spot an hour later and all will be quiet. Admittedly the light on The Watchman may not be as dramatic but the same area still offers fabulous photographic opportunities.

The key is finding open shade. Shady areas where nice light is being bounced in to the scene. This can solve the problem of dealing with high dynamic range and you can create beautiful and more unique photographs at a time of day when most photographs have gone home.

For the photograph on the left I also used a 4 stop graduated neutral density filter. No polarizing filter was used.

The Virgin river near Temple of Sinawava

The Virgin river near Temple of Sinawava

Below are two more photographs taken on the same morning. No filters were used, my friend Dave and I simply walked up the river looking for nice shady spots. These photographs were taken around midday!

It is always tempting to take classic landscape scenes when travelling to places like Zion National Park, if you look around, you may be surprised at how nice the light is even though it is not the “magic hour”.

The Virgin river and trees near Temple of Sinawava.

The Virgin river and trees near Temple of Sinawava.

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