Photographing Zion 2018 Day Two Video and Journal
This post follows my commentary in the video for the most part but with a bit of nuance here and there.
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Monday began wet and cold as another storm pushed through. We decided to stay in the RV and get some work done as the washes on the East side where we wanted to return to were off limits with the risk for flooding. I stepped outside to get some air and check on the current weather and after seeing the conditions I put a long lens on the GFX and took some free hand shots of the clouds spilling about The Watchman. It was short lived as the clouds quickly covered the mountains again. The third image, Rise Above, is a favorite.
Lisa needed to put in a full day fulfilling commitments to clients so after lunch I headed back to the upper end of the East Side to explore the area in hopes of finding a composition. The washes were flowing with the runoff from the recent storms and the skies had cleared after the morning storm. While the sun was still pretty high in the sky for photography I decided to set up the 4 x 5 and challenge myself to correctly expose some Ektar 100 in hopes of capturing the beautiful scene before me. You will notice in the video that the left side of the screen seems oversaturated with red tones. This was how it was under the maples with the sun coming through. The red reflected light permeated everything, it was really quite extraordinary. I was successful with the two images I exposed on Ektar especially liking the first, Sunlit Maple. The second, Hard and Soft, for me demonstrated the dynamic range of ektar 100.
After packing up and hiking further down the wash I settled in on another beautiful grove of maples on the opposite side of the stream of water. This image, Peak Color, was exposed on Velvia 50. I love the variation with the color of the trees in tis grove. Later in the trip many of the yellow trees were over powering in their color and overwhelmed the film at times. After getting the exposure I packed up and turned around to wander further when I saw another amazing scene that I had missed when I first walked in. There was a little direct sunlight at the top of the frame but I couldn't resist the magical picture, Kokopelli. During the fires we had some friends, Peter and Anna, staying with us who had to evacuate their Malibu home. At the time I was working on developing the photos from Zion and when they saw this image she said "Oh it looks like...you know the southwest music guy who plays a flute." We have a Navajo rug with that guy, Kokopelli, on it so we asked her if that was what she was referring to and she said yes. It was a perfect name for the smaller little tree that was bent towards the larger tree.
The next photo was a little further down the wash. I was chasing the light on this one as the reflected light was about to fade. As quick as I could I set up the 4 x 5 and exposed the image onto Velvia 50. I was a little hemmed in on the composition as I wanted to be a little further back but that brought in some blue sky at the top corner of the frame so I kept it in tight. Still I like the colors against the streaks of weeping water running down either side.
The day was indeed filled with magic which really only a surprise to me anymore only if I am walking with my eyes closed. I did notice right away as I hiked back to the jeep that I had been followed down the wash by a big horn sheep. My tracks and the ram's were the only ones. I had a peculiar feeling about it that became stronger after another more obvious encounter later in the trip.
As always I am happy to share this with you and appreciate that you took the time to read and watch. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
To view high res images form this day Click here.
All I can say, Jim, is keep ’em coming! Touching, beautiful photos…
Thank you Peter!
Beautiful Jim x
Thank you Lesa!