The Watchman at Sunset
Zion Autumn Colors Photo Tour
Custom tour & immersion workshop
Looking for a photography tour to light up your portfolio? A Zion National Park Fall colors photo tour surely is what the portfolio is calling out for.
Artists and photographers have been drawn to Zion National Park forever since Daguerreotype process photography and paintbrushes came west to capture its infinite variety of moods. The incredible landscape of Zion is a magnificent display of beauty that is a perpetual source of inspiration and renewal for nature lovers, artists, and photographers alike. Zion National Park has served as the stage set for more than twenty-five movies, including, most notably, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Zion’s Virgin River has carved its way through a couple thousand feet of Colorado plateau sandstone a 15-mile-long gash that reaches nearly half a mile into the earth, which provides a backdrop for one of nature’s unique autumn displays. The blessings of autumn fire up the bright yellows of the valley’s cottonwoods that line the river and brilliant reds of the mountain maple that grace shadowy hillsides. The sculptured cliffs of Zion Canyon provide visitors with landscapes of unmatched beauty and diversity. These unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, too red. Zion Canyon.
A couple takes in the Grandure of the Narrows of the Virgin River
Checkerboard Mesa in the higher elevations offers up some variety to the valley bottom bringing the brown and white slickrock sandstone peaks, and high country washes that also host colorful cottonwoods and when lucky Desert Bighorn Sheep.
The Court of the Patriarchs The Watchman, Temple of Sinawava, The Preacher and the Pulpit, Big Bend and little bend all are great photo fodder during autumn’s colorful show. Angels Landing, and Observation Point, the Narrows and the Subway are a bit beyond what most photo tour participants ability but do make good after tour side trips for the ambitious and fit.
Zion’s extreme lights and shadow cast by Zion’s towering cliffs often create exposures difficulties and are tricky to photograph, We often need to bracket our images for high dynamic range processing (HDR) which we will go over during the tour. Zion National Park images can be some of the most scenic and visually rewarding when successful light, exposure and processing are achieved.
Zion National Park oozes the type of beauty that stops us in our tracks, gaping in awe. Zion is gorgeous any time of year but with that extra splash of the reds and golds of autumn make a fine exclamation mark to the grandeur that is Zion. Nature's extreme forces and the violence of wind, rain, wind, snow, and ice have created a perfect photographers destination.
Once you experience Zion, you will long to return again and again. Zion National Park with its breathtaking landscapes and incredible rock formations has enough photo opportunities to keep a photographer busy for a lifetime. I only wish I could be
500mm lenses aren't just for wildlife
What to Expect
Our main focus will be the colorful landscape of Zion's Virgin River Valley. With luck the golden cottonwood will be at their colorful peak with some red mountain maple accents. Opportunity may avail, pack that long lens because there is a possibility of seeing desert bighorn sheep up on Checkerboard Mesa. This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. We will always be on the look-out for interesting images during our photo adventure and for this reason. Our itineraries are always subject to change. Weather plays a major role in capturing the best images possible. Changing light and weather conditions will always be assessed and changes in the schedule will be made accordingly. Flexibility, patience, and a sense of adventure are key to having a great time and capturing stellar photographs.
Group size is limited to five participants so no one has to sit on anothers lap. Small group dynamics enables more individualized instruction. Often workshops offered by others have a far larger student to instructor ratio, or huge groups whith mulituple instructors that over cround a location. Our adventures offer you a chance to combine a spectacular vacation, a wonderful creative learning experience with managable group dynamics.
November in Zion is an awesome time, it is on the cusp of winter, but days more often than not, indian summer in nature. Cool and comfortable, but also with the possiblilty of early snow. Snow is good. Novermber allows good chances for passing storms which enhance our skies and bluebird days are still common. Overcast days are good for autum color in steep canyons because it decreases the typical huge dynamic range of bright sky and canyon shadow. Clouds are good!
What we expect from you
Footbridge to the Sentinels blanketed in autumn color
A spectator takes it all in!
Day 1 - In the AM we meet at at a yet to be deternined location in Las Vegas Nevada then have a meet and greet lunch. Afterwards we will go over Daryl's "The Hole Picture" photographic technique. At which time we will have an informal discussion on what everyone is trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. We will then travel the 160 miles to our hotel in outside of the Zion National Park. We then head out for an Afternoon/Sunset shoot.
Day 2 - Full day Shooting in Zion's Virgin River Canyon, sunrise/sunset/ photography. Possible post processing session during midday break or evening.
Day 3 - Full day in Arches/Canyonlands area, sunrise/sunset/ photography. Possible post processing session midday or evening. This is the day we might revisit icons of the previous day where the light may have failed us.
Day 4 - This will be our final day together. We'll enjoy a morning shoot, then have a nice breakfast. During breakfast we will have a discussion about our trip, answer any questions and trade contact information, then and bid you farewell. We then return to Las Vegas for departure. Ambitious photographers might wish to hang around Zion a bit longer; however, this would require making seperate arrangements on your own for a way back to Los Vegas. Those driving my wish to just meet the group in Zion.
Golden cottonwood of Zion Canyon
La Quinta Inn & Suites
Your tour includes three nights lodging at La Quinta Inn & Suites. (subject to change). Participants may want to show up a day early or possibly stay longer. We encourage you to extend your stay and polish what you have learned during the workshop and explore Moab's exponentially endless photo opps and activities.
La Quinta Inn & Suites is located in the heart of downtown Springdale, Utah. Guests staying at this Springdalehotel will be conveniently near the The enterance of Zion National Park and downtown Springdale.
High-Speed Internet Access
Free Wireless High-Speed Internet Access
Free Bright Side Breakfast
Bright Side Market
Seasonal Outdoor Pool & Spa
Desert bighorn rams
To be determined by itinerary
What's included in the price?
What's not included in the price?
Deposit & refund policy
Do you recommend trip insurance?
A fortuitous winter snow
What type of camera equipment do I need?
Is this a tour or workshop?
Are there any baggage limitations during the trip?
On the mesa above the Zion Canyon, the cottonwoods may still have color but the aspens are bare
What will the weather be like?
I plan on traveling alone. Do I need to bring someone?
Can a non-photographer friend or spouse attend the workshop?
Most Hole Picture Photo Safari activities are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking a few miles over uneven trails, stepping from boats to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations, all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment with a tripod slung over your shoulser. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform us in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.
Does weather ever alter or cancel events?
Do you recommend trip insurance?
Do I need a passport ?
Have more questions?
The Narrows of the Virgin River, Autumn color, Zion National Park