Archive for the ‘Zion National Park’ Category

River of Light, Virgin River in the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah 2011

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM___ISO 100

During my recent trip to Zion, I met up with my friend and former assistant John O’Connor to take a hike up the Narrows of the Virgin River.  We were so caught up with making images of all the wonderful reflections and other canyon details, we didn’t get very far, not even to the Orderville Canyon fork.  Oh well, next time!  Just when we decided to head back down river, I stopped dead in my tracks, in the middle of the river, when I saw these wonderful rapids and reflections.  This image was created with Nik HDR Efex Pro, using five exposures that were each one stop apart.

This river hike reminds of many years ago when I hiked down the Paria River, not photographing much walking downstream.  When turning the opposite direction, I started seeing photographs everywhere!  By the time, I came out of the canyon, it was pitch dark.  It took me about half an hour to find the trailhead parking area.  The image below, made with my 4×5 camera in 1985, became one of my first posters published in the late 1980s, and one of my best-selling fine art prints sold throughout the country by The Nature Company.

Reflections, Paria River, Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Utah 1985

Both photographs were made while standing in the cold rapids.  I used a longer exposure in the 1985 image, and so the reflections are smoothed over like a watercolor wash.  I cropped out the sunlit cliffs above each frame to avoid the extreme contrast and simplify the composition.  The results in both photos focus the viewer on the colors and textures in the river’s water.

I have many more new images to polish up in post-processing, so stay tuned for more from my southwest trip. Next up, slot canyons!

Enjoy, William Neill


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Autumn forest and slickrock wall, Zion National Park, Utah 2011

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM__0.7 sec at f / 16__ISO 400

Last week, I was photographing in Zion while traveling with my family.  I returned to a favorite location and was thrilled to find favorite red maples in fine autumn dress.  My kids loved the spot, and they spent about an hour burying each other in the sandy wash. I climbed around the steep slope opposite the trees and slickrock wall, looking for good compositions.  There was a breeze, so with each framing, I waited and watched for the leaves to stay still.  Here is one of my favorite versions from that afternoon.

I am continuing to process images from my trip, so come back soon to see more new work.

Enjoy!   Bill

I have also attached a 4×5 film image, taken from the same location in 1985.  Back then, when using Ektachrome 64, I used an 81A filter to counteract the blue balance.  This accounts for some of the color difference, as does later stage of the maples and oak’s leaves.  Ultimately, color is a matter of taste.  I “feel” far more than “think” when I create and process my images, and sometimes the interpretation of the same locations can very different.  I have learned to trust my instincts more than second-guess them.

Red maples and slickrock, Zion National Park, Utah 1985