The time has now arrived as I head back to Zion for the autumn season. In this final post of a 3 part series, I reveal an image captured from my 2016 trip while hiking deep within the narrows.
Reflected light illuminates the canyon like a burning furnace as the virgin river rushes to quench the light of fire.
Although I head to Zion each year mainly for fall color, there are a few areas that do not directly reflect the autumn season. This photograph represents such a location and is one of the darkest and coldest parts within the narrows. I have photographed this area in years past but always walked away empty handed due to situations that were beyond my control. The reflected glow along the canyon wall only lasts for a short period of time. It then disappears into a dark and muted scene.
Just a few more minutes!
Even though this location is about 3 miles from the beginning of the main river walk, eventually a few hikers do make their way this far up river. Being that this was a long exposure it made it very challenging to keep hikers from getting into the shot. I watched and waited as the lighting reached its full reflected glow and anticipated when to trigger the shutter release. Every second seemed like an eternity wondering if during the 6 minute exposure, is someone going to turn the corner and walk into the shot?
About half way into my exposure a few hikers wandered into the scene wearing hyper neon colored clothing as bright as the sun! They stopped in direct view of my camera and just stood in middle of the river for several minutes. Immediately I stopped my exposure, drowned my frustration into the river and waited for them to move on. I then restarted the exposure for the remaining duration of the shot.
I ended up shooting 3 sheets on Ektar 100 just as a precaution and I am thankful that I did. Two of the exposures had light leaks leaving me with only one usable shot. I am very satisfied with this image as it very accurately displays a beautiful scene at its apex. The narrows of Zion are an amazing place to visit. I have explored them many times and each year I always look forward to visiting again.
Zion Fall Season 2017
Thank you for reading this 3 part series. My gear and equipment are all packed as I head back to Zion for my 2017 autumn trip. Every year is surprisingly very different from the last so it will be interesting to see what awaits.
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The Artwork and Photography of Mike Fink.