Zion National Park black and white landscapes
Can you imagined what Zion National Park must have looked like for the early Mormons who entered the valley for the first time and considered this sacred place as their Zion, or place of peace and refuge. I would have to agree with the reference to this area’s spiritual place – the entire park emits this powerful energy and grandeur throughout the canyon and surrounding rocky plateaus and outcrops. I can see why the early Mormon settlers considered this their Zion, a land they considered paradise and a synonym for the holy city of Jerusalem.
Even though the canyon and surrounding areas of the park are spectacular to visit and witness in full color, there’s something just as special in viewing and presenting Zion classically in black and white images. Even the well known photographer Ansel Adams spend some time exploring the famous monuments of Zion. In fact he was commissioned by the National Park service to create a photo mural of one of the landmarks for their Interior building in Washington. In addition, he also photographed several iconic monuments including: Carlsbad Caverns, Glacier, Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon and Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain and a series of national park treasures.
I’m not sure why Adam’s work on Zion was so limited, maybe it was because the source of commissions for some of the rest of the US other park systems were so limited and Zion not as well known as Yosemite during that timeframe. Or maybe it was his obsession with Yosemite, a close proximity to travel to and understanding all the photo conditions that drew him to visit Yosemite regularly – but I think he would also have found some inspiration here if he had more time, don’t you?
Here are some of my favorite landscapes at Zion
If you take any of the trails around the park, you will always find amazing landscapes and panoramic views along the way. The light constantly changes and creates different highlights walking through certain trails and clouds swirling above create even more drama and spectacular light like some of the images below along the Virgin River, the Kayenta trail below and other popular trails in the park.
Hiking up the Kayenta trail to the Emerald Pools
Sunrise over the Canyon Overlook Trail in black and white
I woke up early to drive up the canyon road and tunnel to hike on the overlook trail and capture sunrise coming over the canyon. Unfortunately, you cannot always time the weather at the park especially on cloudy or rainy days. Still , I decided to go for it and hike up to the canyon overlook, only having less than a few minutes to take a photograph when the clouds briefly cleared to highlight some of the canyon walls. Sometimes it truly is luck or having the time to come back regularly to get just the right conditions to capture a spectacular photograph.
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