22nd October 2008, 02:12 AM
Zion Natl. Park, Utah
My wife and I (and our 4 kids) had been waitning for an opportunity to hike the Narrows at Zion for years. That opportunity came around on a recent trip from California to Colorado.
Here are two of my favorite pics from the hike taken with my Canon xSi
You can see my wife and three of my kids at the bottom of the pic in the shadow.
This was one of my favorites. The focus is not as sharp as it could be, but I love how the tree is framed by the rocks. I probably should hace cropped out the two rocks at the bottom as well.
22nd October 2008, 08:20 AM
28th October 2008, 07:26 PM
Re: Zion Natl. Park, Utah
I have recently returned from 10 days in Utah and I visited Zion National Park (both sides), Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Canyon (very picturesque site on the way to Bryce Canyon), Kodachrome Basin Utah State Park as well as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Originally Posted by taken
This is one of the most picturesque areas I have ever visited however, time time that you visit each area is extremely critical. Generally, the Desert Southwest landscape is more interesting early and late in the day and less interesting in the flat overhead mid-day light.
However, there are areas that due to high canyon walls on each side, which must be photographed around mid-day. Some of the canyons in Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP are examples of this type of time critical scenery. Having a lot of time and being able to wait for the best light along with using a good photo oriented guidebook is really an asset. Sometimes, you will just be out of luck. There was a wildfire burning on the South Rim when I visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The smoke was blowing towards us and obscured much of the lovely canyon scenery.
I have found that using a tripod is a major help in photographing this area. of course, we know that using a tripod and shooting around f/8 or f/11 will help the IQ of most lenses. Additionally, since the light is so bright (and shadows so dense) in this area, shooting three exposure bracketed images and combining the images into one HDR image will often provide the very best quality imagery. You can achieve shadow detail and not blow out highlights.
Tripods are very funny pieces of equipment. For some strange reason, just owning a tripod will not improve your photography one bit. However, using the tripod that you own will often do wonders in improving your image quality. The reasons many photographers do not use tripods are laziness, lack of knowledge and unwillingness to lug a heavy item over sometimes rugged territory.
I have solved the weight problem by converting a SLIK Pro 330DX tripod into an excellent lightweight and handy tripod which will easily support either of my Canon 1.6x cameras with 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. I substituted an optional shorter center column reducing the tripod weight somewhat and substituted a Flashpoint F1 ball head for the stock SLIK pan-tilt head. The result is a tripod which weighs 1.22 kg and is a joy to use and carry. The Arca Compatible quick release allows me to use my Really Right Stuff L-bracket which also improves the stability of a tripod mounted camera.
Another piece of equipment I deem crucial for photography in this area is a good circular polarizer. The CPL lived on my lenses during this trip and did a lot to improve my imagery.
By the way, I found a lot of uses for my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens to isolate specific formations of interest in that area of Utah.
I have not had the opportunity to edit my Utah trip but, will post images when I am able to.
Last edited by rpcrowe; 28th October 2008 at 07:31 PM.