Zion National Park, Utah – Images of Fall

I love fall foliage anywhere I can get it, but contrasted against the bright rust orange of Zion National Park, your breath is just swept away by the beauty.  This year was an unusually early fall for the park, so by the time I arrived, I only got to mostly enjoy the yellows of the abundant cottonwood trees.  All the reason to come back, right?  Of course, it’s also getting colder and the morning frost is leaving behind some amazing effects on the dropped leaves, so there was an advantage to the early fall.  I only wish I had brought my macro lens.

The water in the Virgin River also runs clearer in the fall after the sediment from the spring rains has washed downriver. What remains is a soft turquoise blue running over the peach colored sand from the eroding sandstone.  At certain times of the day, the sun will be just right to “paint” the water with the reflections of the colorful fall leaves.

When the leaves fall into the many puddles and small, very slow flowing tributaries to the Virgin River, they start to decay and leave behind plant oils.  Again, when the light is right, you are able to see a rainbow of colors from these released oils.

Of course, any photographer is obligated to take advantage of the magical visual effects of sunrise, sunset, and a crisp and clear fall night sky nearly free of light pollution.  Sunrise was taken at the Court of the Patriarchs.  My sunset photos of The Watchman were bracketed 2-stops in order to later merge them together using Nik HDR software to accomplish the natural dynamic range of the setting I desired.  We were fortunate to have an amazing night sky for star gazing, including the Milky Way, Cassiopeia, and many other constellations too numerous to name and beyond my circle of competence.  Hope you enjoyed my photos as much as I did taking them!!  If you want to learn how to capture fantastic photos of Zion, I encourage you to take a tour with Justin Resnick – great teacher, guide, photographer, etc.


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