I have wanted to visit and photograph the famous National Parks in Utah my entire adult life. I finally had an opportunity to do so this fall, combining a photo tour/workshop and several days of solo exploration.
I was able to stay in Springdale, Utah, just outside of the park gate, which I would highly recommend. My visit was timed to minimize crowds while hoping to maximize fall color. I was delighted to discover that my timing was nearly perfect.
My photographic objective on this trip was to find intimate images and not necessarily the classic iconic photographs one often sees in the area. I found that I could easily get away from the light November crowds and get lost for hours in a multitude of stunningly beautiful locations, far off the more popular trails.
This image features the 'Three Patriarchs' (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as they overlook the Virgin River, which carved (and is still carving) its way through Zion Canyon. It is taken near the Canyon Junction Bridge but not in the same vicinity or direction as the traditional sunset shot from the bridge itself. (Note: the Park Service no longer allows photographers to shoot from the bridge due to traffic congestion and safety issues.)
As the sun set behind the canyon rim, it highlighted the towering peaks of the 'Patriarchs' in the background while providing sufficient shade to slow the shutter sufficiently to highlight the waterfall's flow in the foreground, yielding a pleasing composition. I was in the park for three days and felt like I just scratched the surface of its abundant, stunning beauty. It is a definite 'must experience' for the landscape photographer!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor