Upper Emerald Pools Cathedral, Zion National Park

Summer in Zion is hot. VERY hot. I was lucky that last weekend was under 100 degrees when I decided to hike to the Emerald Pools. Most of the water from the large pools had evaporated, leaving a few logs and boulders in shallow water to shoot (probably 6 feet deep), but what was really interesting was that at the end of the hike to the upper pools you enter into a cathedral fit for giants with 1000 ft. cliffs on three sides. It felt like a sacred worshiping place from a fantasy storyland with the towering vertical cliffs reaching to the sky, only traversed by fast moving misty clouds vaporizing into the thin desert air. I was sure a dragon was blowing smoke rings on the other side of Lady Mountain, laughing at us mere mortals with our inferior height.

Zion Cliff (1 of 1).jpg

I decided that the best way to capture this moment was with a 50mm lens in black and white to show the dramatic contrast in the rocks and sky from the perspective that your eye sees it. I left the tree branches in frame to show the softer side of life to balance against the rocks. I feel that it also balances the clouds in the upper right.

For me, the lasting impression of the sheer jagged walls isn’t in the color, it’s the intense carvings that nature so easily grooves into the Navajo Sandstone over time. Standing there, you feel really small and can’t help but realize that there is something much greater than yourself in this world. Hopefully the image conveys the same feeling to you.

Contact me if you would like a poster up to 40 x 60 in. This is a great image to have enlarged on your wall because of the rich detail and striking power evoked from the rocks, not completely viewable online.

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