Looking Beyond Iconic views in Zion

Everyone loves to see a breathtaking grand vista. At least I assume so! So when people travel to stunningly beautiful locations around the world, it naturally leads us to gravitate to photograph and share the exceptional view right in front of our eyes.

So then, why would anyone not choose to do so? The answer is relatively simple: most of these views have been photographed and shared to death. I fully understand taking a snapshot with a significant other, yourself, or family at the top of a mountain peak, the Grand Canyon, etc., but I find myself less and less likely spending significant time and energy planning to photograph iconic views in places like Yosemite, and more recently, Zion National Park. (click here to view my portfolio of images from my fall 2020 trip!)

I mean, just look at the people crammed together in the video below by Thomas:

Looks fun… right? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

So when I recently traveled to Zion, I snapped some images from the iconic views atop Angels Landing and numerous other overlooks. I mean the valley really is a work of natural art and lives up to its oasis name. But all of my portfolio images (except maybe 1) are more subtle and different views of this location.

My reasoning is simple: if you want a photograph of Angels Landing, go to Google. It’s been done a million times and there’s not really a lot of ways to make the view “yours.” I’d much rather venture out to some of the small washes and remote canyons in the park where there are endless creative opportunities to make exceptional photos. If you aren’t familiar with the work of Ben Horne, I suggest you check out the incredible work and videos he produces every year in Zion.

I don’t pretend to be a pro photographer, but it’s great to use the above video and learn from others to broaden both your approach and skills. I’ve been a long time student of Thomas and Ben, and I can see progress in my own work as a result.

What are your thoughts on visiting and photographing icons?

Happy trails,

Brian

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