Ok, I’ll admit it. I love chasing icons. Iconic pictures that we all have seen a hundred times or more. I mean, what portfolio is complete without the classic Watchmen of Zion shot from the bridge over the Virgin River?
Look familiar? It should, I stood on the bridge with the 20 other photographers that night, and the thousands of photographers who stand on the bridge each year getting the same shot. Different skies, but same general positioning. Why do I do it? I look at these icon pictures as a photographic checklist, a bucket list that must be crossed off one icon at a time. To go to Zion National Park and not get this shot seems like a crime.
But the real crime is when you fail to spend time looking around for unique compositions. Zion is full of beauty and to only grab the icons and go is criminal. Hike the narrows, drive the Colorado Plateau, and see the Towers Of the Virgin. Maybe Zion National Park has been shot so much there are no new images to be had. So drive outside the park boundaries, be adventurous! Be creative. Be original.
My first trip to Zion in 2017 was a magical whirlwind tour. I was there long enough to get the lay of the land, hike the Virgin River Narrows, grab some shots and then move on. I cannot wait until I can return again and focus off the beaten path, I have the icons checked off and I’m ready to create! So get out there and grab the icons. But don’t forget to turn around and see what else the area has to offer.