It was pretty clear that there would be no sunset to speak of as we stood by the Zion Lodge, nestled deep within the namesake National Park. Most of the canyon walls were already covered in shade. I wasn’t quite sure how all of that happened so quickly. It seemed as if we had just gotten to the park. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t really plan all that well, huh? :)

But I give +Brian Bonham the utmost kudos for essentially saving the day for me… and for +Jason Stone, +Jacob Lucas, and +Christopher Germano. If it wasn’t for Brian’s quick thinking in soliciting advice as to where we could shoot sunset from some locals, we would have surely missed out entirely.

As it turned out, there was a local dirt road a few miles outside of the park that brought us to this gorgeous view. It is the sort of view that makes the Southwest so amazing. Despite the aridity and heat, this desert is simply stunning and ripe with elements to photograph. We made it to this location with about 15 minutes to spare. We all lept out of our cars (big thank to Jason for risking his ride to drive up that rather treacherous road) and began rifling off our shots.

This is the first of several images I got from that evening’s sunset and I’m looking forward to sharing all of them with you soon. Again, none of this would even be possible had Brian not taken the reigns in a kitchen filled with cooks who weren’t really doing much of anything in terms of forming a plan – a pitfall of shooting in a large-ish group. Brian reminded me about how important it is to have initiative and to be ok with making decisions on behalf of others in the name of getting the best possible images. He also reminded me about just how much I love shooting by myself or with 1-2 other people.

Google Maps Location Info
37°8’10” N 113°3’39” W

In terms of processing
Let it be known far and wide that this image would not have been possible without #HDR  tone-mapping. Pure and simple. I was able to get all of the glorious details from the highlights through the shadows because of it. Thanks, in part, to Photomatix Pro.

Stylization was done in the all-new Perfect Effects 4, part of +onOne Software‘s newly announced Perfect Photo Suite 7. I applied a small amount of Magic Desert (how appropriate), along with some Blue to the sky and added a touch of Deep Forest Glow.

Final touches were achieved in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Landscape and Nature (1 photo)

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