The Terrace Symphony – Zion National Park




We hiked miles and miles over rocks and boulders up towards the Subway in Zion National Park to get this one. It was a long trek with all the gear, but when we rounded the bend and I saw the most stunning of terraces I ever had seen, I knew  it was worth it. The endless cascading water and fall color made a view that took my breath away. I cannot adequately convey the awe that I felt. But this print on the wall will help me.

The most amazing part is there was more up ahead. I also photographed Autumns Secret in this same hike. Two images in a day is rare for me. But if any location could pull it off, this would be it. It was the most remarkable trek I’ve hoked and we’ll look at it more closely in the new PHOTOGRAPHICS film that’s about to release.

Release details: Prints Available.. Order Open Edition originals above.. Master prints and Signature Limited Editions are listed below and can be ordered by contacting gallery.

Released prints….


For Photographers. How it was made…

Technical Notes: Canon MK2, 24mm 1TSe II @ f16, 6sec, ISO160, Induro Tripod
Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Seim Effects tools.

With sheer canyon walls on either side, the light can be a challenge here. Early in the day the light has not cleared the canyon walls. In the afternoon the light is harsh. In the evening the light falls behind the canyon before sunset and you have to hike back in the dark.

We walked by when the sun was still full. This spot is close to the Subway location in Zion so we went up there and worked as the light lowered. We came back with little time, as we had a long way back to the car and night was coming on. The light was a little flat because the terraces had fallen into shadow. But that also gave me balanced exposure from the water to the fall color. In a complex scene like this it’s usually important to avoid harsh light.

I made the exposure long enough to give me water movement. I put some extra time into really planning the composition. I wanted all the detail I could get and the start and end points were important to me to maintain the scope and try to make the terraces jump off the page.

In post, I did a bit of work with presets, then balancing out the color and bringing back some of the warmth and glow that gets even further lost in a RAW file. I then did a bit of very careful burning and dodging. This was one I put detail into. I used the B&D for careful control over the rivulets of water, the trees and the background so that your eye would lead through the scenes and take in the scope of this stunning place.

— Gav



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