It hasn’t been out of neglect that it’s been so long I’ve been able to post new images or stories – I simply haven’t gotten the chance to get out and photograph! Fortunately last weekend I was finally able to get away, and met up with friend and photographer Guy Tal in Zion National Park to catch the last breath of autumn. On Saturday we started out in a seldom visited portion of the Kolobs region, where most of the trees had already lost their coat of leaves, leaving them dancing like ghosts in their deep hall of sandstone. Aside from the welcome chirps of the canyon birds, we had the silent place to ourselves; a very refreshing change from Pasadena for sure.

“Canyon Whispers” ~ Zion National Park, UT
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 24-105mm, tripod
Exposure: iso 200, f/14, 1.3 sec

After refueling at Oscars (prime destination for delicious sweet potato fries, and more), we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the high country – the eastern side of the park (read: away from the tourists) – in search of elusive maple leaves, wispy trees, and intimate sand/stone-scapes. The forecast for snow came through, almost, and we were treated to a light shower of gropple – a schizophrenic mix of snow and hail. The storm was the trailing edge of earlier rains that had created some marvelous mud patterns.. everywhere we stepped, there was something to see. Nearby maple trees graciously supplied some brilliantly crimson leaves, which seemed to fall in just the perfect places, every time without fail, it was uncanny!

“Maple Designs” ~ Zion NP, UT
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 24-105mm, tripod, polarizer
Exposure: iso 100, f/16, 0.6 sec

Most photographers, and leaf peepers I suppose, try to time their visits for fall color viewing to “peak color”. I, however, found the dwindling leaves which exposed the expressive trees’ form to be a much more evocative sight. The twisted forms of the gray/blue scrub oaks and maples came into view behind their veils of color.

“Confetti” ~ Zion NP, UT
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 70-200mm, tripod
Exposure: iso 100, f/14, 1/6th sec
Notes: You can see a much larger version here, for maximal details!

Finally, we decided it was time to move on up the canyon to see some hidden petroglyphs carved in the smooth sandstone. A few larger trees populated the drainage, among them several ponderosa pines. I was fascinated by all the shades of red – all we seem to have here in Pasadena is shades of gray and brown – so when this scene, anchored by the stately pine emerging from ghostly maple forms, set against a smooth sandstone studio quality backdrop, I knew just what to do!

“Red” ~ Zion NP, UT
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 24-105mm, tripod
Exposure: iso 100, f/16, 2 sec

We finished off the day with some fine beers and scotch around a crackling fire. And that was just day one! The following morning Guy had to take off, but I spent another two days exploring more of the park, which I’ll be sure to share with you soon.. less chaotic wispy trees, and more simple sandstone forms. One teaser: it was mid November… there were icicles on the canyon walls… and I jumped into several pools of emerald waters, camera in hand! Yes, I’m completely serious.

2 Comments to “Canyon Whispers”

  1. Hi Floris,

    Long time ago since the last post in your blog, is true… but I think you’ve returned more powerful.
    I love the second snapshot with that awesome red leaf and these geometrical forms of the sand (due to the rain as you said). Astonishing.

    I’ve never been in Zion National Park but it seems to be impresive!

    Greetings from Spain.

  2. Completely serious? Yes. Completely nuts? Well, that maybe too, at least to some extent. But I appreciate the effort. 😉

    Wonderful series of abstract nature portraits. My eyes are drawn to the last image of your post. Stunning range of colors and fantastic details. Love how you anchored the composition. Great job, Floris. Looking forward to the next post!