The Narrows – Zion

Yesterday I had posted a picture of me hanging out in The Narrows – a hiking trail inside of Zion National Park in Utah.  The post dealt more with how happy I was at over-stretching the use of the Really Right Stuff TQC14 tripod, but after getting a bunch of emails on other details, I figured I’d post more details on the area, the shot, and the process.

(click on the picture at the right to see a bigger version of it)

Where is this Place?

This place is called “The Narrows” and it is in Zion National Park in Utah. In order to get to this place, you have to go to tne entrance of this canyon. I believe its called the Temple of Sinewava.  This is about a mile and change on concrete.  From there, you jump into some water and start hiking in through the canyon.

The canyon is really big, and has a fok in it about 3 miles in.  About a mile after that there is a place called “Wall Street” where you can get some really cool light and looks depending on the time of day you go.  I would recommend huffing the mile through Wall Street and go all the way to the end.  From there, you can double back and find the shots that you want.

Are You Hiking In Water?

Yes.  Depending on the time of year, you can go from being above rocks, to your ankles, all the way up to your waist.  Thankfully this time around, there were not that many places where you would go down really hard, but it did vary quite a bit?


Was it Cold/Wet?

Oh yeah… but not too bad.  We got a bunch of dry gear from Zion Adventure Company which included dry pants, neoprene socks, special shoes, tops, and walking sticks.  The guys there were amazing to work with, had great videos to show what to do and what not to do.  We made the reservation the day before, got fitted, and walked out of with the gear.  This rental also included a drysack that contained 1 D800 camera, a 24-70 2.8, my iphone, and an Olloclip for wide/fisheye shots on the iphone.  I also carried the tripod in another drysack that my buddy Wes had on his shoulders.

Conditions wise, the flow was actually pretty slow, the water temperature in the 40’s, but not that many tricky spots.  The rental gear helped out a TON!

How Long Were You Out there?

We were at the parking area around 9am. After the mile and a hald walk, we stopped, got the gear on and started walking.  We were back at the car taking the gear off around 3:40PM.  It was a very long day, and I would saty we went about 6-8 miles total.

Was it Strenuous?

I’m not really a hiker, and I wasn’t really prepared for making the hike, but I have to say, it ddidnt seem too bad.  I think that the conditions were very favorable to make the hike, so that part I was pumped about.   I wasn’t really all that prepared for having to fight the current on the way up, and having to stop myself from falling because the current was pushing me on the way back down.  It was certainly tiring, and I thought my legs were going to fall off, but I had a wonderful time.

How Many Shots Did You Make?

I made a total of 4 pictures, all were 9 stop brackets.  I figured at one point I would try an HDR of stuff.

Why Did You Shoot 9 Frames for a Bracket?

This is my rule of thumb when working with HDR images and brackets.  The amount of brackets I shoot of an image is directly porportional to how close I live to the location that I am shooting.

ie: if this place is around the corner from where I live.. I will shoot less brackets.  If this is halfway across the country – i’m going to shoot the heck out of it. Hence, the 9 frames.

Is This an HDR?

Yes.  yes it is. 🙂

Were you nervous for your Camera? 

Oh absolutely.   That said i’m dong my best to follow a maxim that Joe McNally often espouses ” You want to get an interesting picture? Get your camera in an interesting place” .  I could sit and be afraid of the gear getting wrecked and never try… or try and get something that I will be happy with.  At the end of the day, I’ll just make prints of this, sell them, and see what happens.

Do you plan on selling these prints?

Yes.  My idea was to take these prints and put them into the group of prints that I sell.  I figure i’ll only have 20 of these for sale, and once they are sold, theyre done.  No more versions or derivatives.. just those and we’re done.

I thought you didnt know how to swim?

I dont.  And i’m pretty afraid of water.  That said… I’m not about to let something like that mess up a chance at getting a picture. 🙂

Should you have any questions, ask away at the Google+ page. 🙂


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