MY FIRST OFFICIAL PHOTO SHOOT – Part 1

As I packed my photography equipment and made my final pre-shoot technical checks, my heart began to race realizing I would be leaving the next morning for my very first official photo shoot!  Oh sure, I’ve jumped into the car and ventured to the beach to photograph the sunset.  I’ve even planned an early drive to the mountains for a summer sunrise.  But, this would be the first trip out of the state for the specific purpose of photographing Zion National Park in southern Utah.  We would be gone for four days, spending 2-3 days inside the park with the remaining time used to experience the local flavor of southern Utah!  Yes, we were very excited!

Arriving late in the afternoon, we could already see the beauty as we approached the lodge at the park’s southern gate.  Thinking I would get an early start, I awoke before sunrise only to discover a Zion daybreak arrives much later than I had anticipated.  In fact, we had plenty of time for a hearty breakfast at Oscar’s before we entered the park.  (Time for a quick restaurant review: Oscar’s = Great Food!!)  With the sun still sleeping, we decided to make a stop at the visitor center for information and water.

With our supply of water in tow, we headed out for our first of several hikes!  We found the beauty to be utterly incredible beyond description!  The varying hues of blue in the sky were spectacular, each different depending upon the time of day.  As well, the mountainous rocks were at times aglow with an unimaginable reddish cast typical of the southern Utah landscape.  As you can see from the photos, using my circular polarizing filter (click here to see my photography tip on filters) only enhanced what was already breath-taking scenery!

The Sentinel – 7157 ft. elevation

The Court of the Patriarchs

Another perspective of The Court of the Patriarchs

Just outside the Southern Gate, this was the view from our Room

The north fork of the Virgin River as it makes its way through the Emerald Pools with Angels Landing in the background

The Towers of the Virgin – to gain some perspective of these mountains, you may click to enlarge this shot.  In doing so, notice the cabin hidden in the trees

As we continued our hike, the trail climbed and narrowed until we found ourselves behind the Waterfall at Weeping Rock

Ice crystals formed by the freezing spray from the waterfall at Weeping Rock

State Highway 9 looking west with the West Temple in the background – 7810 ft. elevation

The Altar of Sacrifice – 7505 ft. elevation

The north fork of the Virgin River with the Temple of Sinawava in the distance – 7565 ft. elevation

It was a long, but great first day and sunset was rapidly approaching along with a blanket of clouds in the distance.  It was time to retire the camera for the day and head to one of the great local eateries in the area.  Having peeled off at least two layers of clothing, we landed in a local restaurant called Wildcat Willies!

Remember that blanket of clouds I mentioned?  You’ll see what that does to Zion in Part 2!  Don’t miss it!

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~ by photographyfree4all on January 4, 2011.

48 Responses to “MY FIRST OFFICIAL PHOTO SHOOT – Part 1”

  1. very exciting! some excellent images in there. happy to see you elevating your work to a new level

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  2. Very, very beautiful! I especially love the photo of the ice and waterfall!! Looks like you had an amazing time, and I look forward to part 2!

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  3. Absolutely beautiful photos!

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  4. You have arrived. What else can I say? These are fabulous! Favorites: The Sentinel, Towers of the Virgin, and N. Fork.
    Lynda

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  5. Thank you for this high praise, John! I really appreciate your expertise. Your comments are always valued very highly! I have some B&W shots coming in the next day or two. I hope you’ll be able to take a look at them, as well! Happy New year, John!

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  6. Thank you, Holly! I loved my time at Zion. The ice was incredible! I have another shot coming in the second part of this shoot! Thank you so much for your comments! I am so grateful to you for taking your time to help me with your expertise!

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  7. Thank you, Barb! You’re so kind! I hope you’ll stay tuned as I will be posting additional shots in the next day or two – shots that are completely different because of the weather change! Thanks for stopping by today, Barb!

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  8. Absolutely breath-taking photos! I’m glad you enjoyed your
    shoot.

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  9. I especially thank you for sharing your favorites, Lynda! I’m hoping to receive some input from everyone because I’m in the process of deciding which ones I’m going to use to create prints. It was an exciting trip – not because of the travel as much as what it meant to me to actually travel for my photography! Thanks for all of your comments, Lyndas! They’re always helpful and thoughtful! I really appreciate that.

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  10. Those are definitely some gorgeous shots you’ve got there–I love the colors! 🙂

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  11. And, thank you for sharing your favorite, Holly! That also helps me to determine my next step with these shots.

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  12. Thank you, Gwyn! I had a great time and it’s caused me to already begin planning my next adventure! It’s going to be the Pacific Northwest and Alaska!! I really appreciate your comments, Gwyn!

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  13. Thank you for these kind words, Jeezy! I’m glad you found your way over to my blog! I appreciate comments – they always help and encourage me in my journey. Stop by any time!

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  14. How exciting! You did GREAT! So many gorgeous photos! Your
    polarizer has done this place a service indeed! I always forget to
    use mine! Hard to pick a fav, but I’d say it is Image #5. Good job!
    It won’t be your last photo shoot! 🙂

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  15. A wonderful collection. Beautiful colors. I don’t know which one I like best, they are all so great. Will be looking forward to the next batch.

    Bob

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  16. Thank you, Tracy! I thought #5 was possibly my best portarit shot. The original shot was actually better, but I had to crop out some stray branches that were creeping into the right side of the frame – they seemed a bit distracting. But, I’m contemplating going back to the original and editing the branches out. It’s almost odentical, but shows a little more of the plateau on the right side. Anyway, I really appreciate your comments – they’re always worth reading! Great job! Again!!

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  17. Thanks, Bob! It would be a tough choice, but I am trying to select a couple that might be suitable for framing. I’m starting to put together some framed prints for a display in Orange, CA. The next series will be completely different as the weather did a 180 on us! But, it made for some great additional shots! Thanks for the time you spend commenting, Bob! It’s a great encouragement – and, I learn a lot from it, too!! 🙂

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  18. Great shots! They look like they belong in a Travel Book of Utah! Can you make them into postcards?

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  19. What a beautiful day you had! I especially love the one of weeping rock. All of them are gorgeous and I’m very glad you were able to have that opportunity!

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  20. Thank you very much, Carrie! I’m in the process of selecting a few for that purpose as well as framing. That’s the difficulty – choosing which ones. Thanks for your comment today! Happy New Year!

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  21. It was absolutely gorgeous, Kuukisu!! Weeping Rock was pretty amazing! I look forward to going back in the summer – maybe not this summer, but soon! Thanks for sharing another comment! I always look forward to them!

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  22. Beautiful shots!
    Blessings,
    jill

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  23. Thank you, Jill! I really appreciate your stopping by today! And, thank you for leaving a comment!

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  24. Lovely! Thank you for posting Part 1 of your Zion story.

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  25. Congrats! Can’t wait to see the rest!

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  26. Thank you, catherine! I’m really glad you stopped by and left a comment today! I hope you’ll check back for part 2! Thanks!

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  27. Thanks for stopping by, Derrick! I do hope you’ll stop by for part 2, as well. I’m excited about this year – I hope you’ll join me along the way as I continue this photography journey! Thanks!

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  28. Lovely, all of them! Its hard to pick one and say its a
    favourite, but if I had to, it would be the Altar Of Sacrifice,
    lovely framing and composition, nice variation in light!

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  29. Definitely a great photo shoot! There are so many excellnet
    shots it’s hard to pick a favorite. To name a few, I have to say I
    like the first shot of the waterfall and I love the subtle beauty
    in the light on the West Temple shot, 3rd from last. Also, is the
    rocky mountain in the center of the last shot the same as in Ansel
    Adams’s famous moon shot? Great work!

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  30. These are all gorgeous. I wouldn’t mind stepping into any
    of these photos and going for a hike. 🙂

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  31. Awesome job!! Zion is so amazing–I want to go back now.

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  32. Thank you so much, Michael! I appreciate your comments – and your expertise! I hope you will also take a look at the second group – they’re B&W shots.

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  33. What a great comment, Kai! Thank you! I’m really struggling with the West Temple shot and the Abgels Landing shot for my vertical choice. I’m not sure about the Ansel Adam’s shot – I’ll have to do some research on that. Which would be your 2 favorite shots that are in landscape format? Thanks for sharing your comments here, Kai! I know other people are reading them! Great job!

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  34. Thank you so much Miss Pearl! I want to go back to – soon! I would love to photograph it in the summertime! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  35. Always love your comments, Robin! I can see the artist coming out in your desire to step into the scene! Great comment! Thanks!

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  36. Beautiful work as always. Zion is one of those places that
    are on the photographic bucket list for me. Can’t wait for part
    2.

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  37. I’ve enjoyed my first peek at this national park through
    your lens. May I say, however, that I find the placement of your
    copyright a wee bit distracting? The sky is quite beautiful and I
    can’t help but think you are taking away from it. It may blend in
    more in a lower corner among rocks! Just my 2 cents. 🙂

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  38. Thank you so much, Jim! You should make a trip – you won’t regret it. Of course, I can say that. It was only about a 5 hour trip for me. Part 2 should be up tomorrow/Thursday. I so glad you stopped by and left this comment today! Great job.

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  39. Hi Karen! I’m happy to share this with everyone! It was such a great trip! At first, I had my watermark logo smaller. But more and more, I worry about someone stealing the shots! Because of that, I enlarged the copyright. When I print, I remove this watermark and replace it with a very small watermark of my name. You’re right, though, it does detract from the shot. But, I thought this was a bit better than placing it directly in the center, which I’ve also seen. It’s sad that we even have to do it – but, what can I say? It’s the world we live in. You’re comments are always great, Karen!! And, I’m always interested in your 2 cents!! Thanks for another great comment.

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  40. Beautiful work. It was many years ago when our children were small that we first visited Zion and Bryce Canyon. Both magnificent places.

    Be blessed always,

    shirley

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  41. Thank you for posting this comment, Shirley. This was my first visit, but likely not my last! I’m glad you liked the shots! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

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  42. On furhter inspection, I think I’m mistaken about Ansel Adams. The shot I was thinking of was taken in Yosemite and although the shape and size of the rock is similar it odes look quite different on closer inspection. It hadn’t occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned any of the lanscape format photos! I think I’d have to go for the second waterfall shot and the Altar of Sacrifice shot. I love that last one for the the bright red of the rock and the way it contrasts with the framing shade in the foreground, and for those amazing clouds. In fact, now I think it might be my favourite of all, so I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier!

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  43. Well, I knew A. Adams shot some in Zion, but I wasn’t familiar with any of the shots enough to know. I’m with you on that shadow framing the shot! When I was shooting that I was hoping I could capture enough foreground detail while maintaining the darkness of the shadow to really make it stand out. I agree with you on the contrast! Great comment, Kai! Thanks!

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  44. you know, that second waterfall shot is really unique in it’s own way, though. But, I think I would have to stick with the Altar of Sacrifice, too! But with the frost at the foot of that falls, it’s a worthy choice, too. Thanks, Kai!

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  45. Wow! These are absolutely GORGEOUS!!

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  46. Thank you Emily! I was rather pleased witrh the results!

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  47. […] When I posted this shot a few weeks ago, it was actually one of my favorite images from Zion National Park.  I liked the colors and the way the shadow was framing the image.  I also liked the cloud […]

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  48. […] November, 5, 2010, I finalized the travel arrangements for my first photo shoot at Zion National Park in Utah.  I photographed Zion from December 27 through December 30, […]

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