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Many of you asked me where the hell is Zion blog, and here it is! Sorry for the late, and better late than never! I first visited Zion National Park with couple of my friends during the summer during my graduation year, 2015. I also photographed Mexican Spotted Owl which I hope many of you recognize. However, due to my hard drive meltdown, all of my raw files from this trip was lost exception of my owl photo that was backed up as tiff for printing.

I always wanted to go back because I didn’t had enough time to enjoy the entire park, and most importantly, I didn’t made any stunning landscape images while I was there. This year, I focused on making landscapes, a beautiful ones, and I think I succeed it. Lets take a look.

 Court of the Patriarchs  6
Court of the Patriarchs 6″ @ f/4 @ ISO 3200
 Temple of Sinawava  30
Temple of Sinawava 30″ @ f/4 @ ISO 800

First night was cloudy, so I focused on moonlight landscape instead of star points or trails. It’s always work with the weather than against. I’m not a huge fan of moonlight landscape. It just doesn’t catch my soul and I don’t have the same excitement compared to star points/trails. Composition and interesting, unusual angle of view was my priority. In both images, camera was set at my knee level, and used super wide 17mm lens, which added to my composition goals.


 The Great White Throne  1/250 @ f/8 @ ISO 100
The Great White Throne 1/250 @ f/8 @ ISO 100

Saturday morning, I went to Angels Landing. Last time I tried Angels Landing, I really didn’t finish the entire thing. It’s the last half mile climbing that really drains your energy, difficult, and dangerous especially when carrying several camera equipments. I promised myself to finish it and  made it to the very end. Did I mention I used my Yashica Electro 35 GSN film camera? Even with old, expired 2010 film, the negatives came out exceptional.

 Top of Angels Landing  1/500 @ f/8 @ ISO 100
Top of Angels Landing 1/500 @ f/8 @ ISO 100
 Top of Angels Landing  Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W Film  1/500 @ f/11
Top of Angels Landing Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W Film 1/500 @ f/11

After quite disappointing dinner, although their beef stew appetizer was on par, it was time for the cliche sunset photo. There’s a bridge right before Canyon Junction and that’s the spot where every photographers stand for the sunset. There were about 15, maybe 20 photographers fully geared with thousands of dollars worth of equipments, and there was me in between. I was fortunate enough to borrow ND gradient lee filter so I can get this pink beautiful sky. This is called second sunset, which only happens about total of 5 minutes per day. It requires perfect weather, and just enough clouds to bounce the light from setting sun to the mountains.

 3
3″ @ f/11 @ ISO 50

The same night, the weather forecast was actually right for the first time ever. The clouds moved out around 11 PM, and it was perfect crystal clear blue sky enabling me to shoot stars. Two successful star trails were made, and I also converted one of them into time lapse to show the cloud movement. Hiking up at Zion 2AM in the morning was surely a scary moment, but it was worth it for the shot.

 30
30″ @ f/4 @ ISO 400 @ 1″ interval for total 1hr 50m.
 15
15″ @ f/4 @ ISO 1600 @ 1″ interval for total 2hr 40m

After all, Zion kind a converted me into a landscape, night, astro photographer. Post production involved in landscape photo and seeing its result is quite rewarding and satisfying moment. Thank you for visiting my blog, and like always, I will see you in the next post!

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