Yesterday I had the good fortune to find myself back in southern Utah for a quick journey to Zion National Park. I had been keeping an eye on the weather all last week and was a bit leery of the weekend forecast. Sure enough when my alarm went off at 5am I could hear the pitter patter of rain drops slapping against my hotel room window. It would have been quite easy to turn the alarm off and go back to bed vs driving an hour to Zion, but good photos certainly don't take themselves. Some of my favorite photos have been in inclement weather conditions which can add a sense of drama and besides, blue skies are kinda boring. The morning's adventure could prove to be another great lesson in being flexible and letting the creativity flow. Improv hat on.
So I let my feet hit the floor, quick shower, stopped at the St. George Starbucks (thanks for being open so early) and hit the dark & rainy road northeast toward Zion. I only had about 3 hours to be in the park before I needed head to back to work so time was critical.
The plan was to do the short & easy hike to the Canyon Overlook and be in place for sunrise. After driving through the mile long Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, I made it to the overlook just before the sun came up for golden hour, but alas there would be no sun. Only clouds, rain showers and a peculiar but friendly Englishman taking photos. No matter, the view is always gorgeous and I'll certainly be back for more opportunities. After exhausting my creative ideas at the Overlook, I decided to skip some of the park's more famous aspects in favor of going further east toward the Checkerboard Mesa to see what else I could find.
Once I made my way east I quickly decided to shoot in black and white with my Fuji X-T1. With the drab skies and flat light it would make the photos come alive and enhance the landscape. In deciding to focus on the details of the park vs. trying to shoot epic landscapes in drab conditions my morning went from disappointing to reasonably productive. So don't give up when the weather doesn't seem to cooperate, be flexible, improvise and let the creativity flow!