Battling Wind and Searching for Compositions | Large Format Landscape Photography in Zion

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Alan Brock Images
Published at : 22 Jan 2021
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On my first full day in Zion, I woke up to a very windy morning. This was predicted so it wasn't unexpected, but it does make for some challenging conditions for large format. Typically during wind, I'll start looking for more intimate scenes on the ground, things that aren't affected by the wind. That's what I did on this morning. However, I arrived early for fall color this year so not many leaves were on the ground yet! I did manage to find a few oak leaves in some undulations in the sandstone. It kind of looked cool, but the image doesn't do too much for me. I included it in the video just to show how my day started.

I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon exploring. I had found a composition the previous day that I wanted to check in order to make sure I had a lens that would cover it. I set up my Shen Hao in broad daylight and thankfully my 90mm lens covered it perfectly. As it was an evening shot, I packed my camera back up and continued to explore.

I came across many absolutely stunning areas of color and reflected light but could not come up with any meaningful compositions. Even though I wasn't shooting anything, I was just having a blast taking in the stunning display of color. In years past I had placed pressure on myself to come away with certain shots from Zion. This year, 100% of my time before the trip was devoted to the flight. This meant that photography was almost an afterthought. This meant that I was free to just capture Zion as I saw it. It's the most fun I've had with large format in a long time!

As evening approached I ran into Justin Lowery and we returned to the location I had scouted earlier. In the mid-ground of the composition was a large sheet of metal that had washed down the wash and had become buried over time. We both tried REALLY hard to remove it but it was under too much sand and rock...it wouldn't budge. I took the shot, and then ended up removing the metal in Photoshop later. I feel this wasn't a major alternation to the image and it's something that wasn't there originally...so basically I felt it was legal! :) It resulted in one of my favorite images from the trip and I felt everything flowed together nicely.

Anyway, if you're still reading, thanks! And thanks for watching!!
Zion National Parklarge format photographylandscape photography

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