My first blog from Utah is from Zion’s National Park located in the south east of Utah and close to Springdale. When arriving at this location and seeing the geology that awaits, it’s difficult not to start snapping randomly at the awe inspiring scenery. From the Canyon floor, mountains and peaks tower at more than 3,000 feet above in a very narrow gorge above Zion Lodge. When I researched visiting the canyon, I stopped looking at photos, as not only did I want to discover it for myself, but the majority of photos started to look the same. The same shots kept coming up over and over again and its not difficult to see why as to cover the park in a short space of time, most of the sights are in one spectacular main canyon.
I decided however to book a trip with a local guide and explore the slot canyons and a road less travelled. What I hadn’t appreciated is the vast nature of this wonderful park and also the in-hospitable nature of the terrain. Temperatures in excess of 100 F, the need to carry more tun 2 litres of water with you, canyons hundreds of feet deep and miles from anywhere as well as native snakes and spiders. The majority of shots that I take are easily accessible and I am able to plan ahead, so this was a new challenge for myself as a photographer and as a person. For the first time in taking pictures, the shot was almost secondary to the task of reaching the location.
The shots that I have included were taken at the base of a slot canyon that would once have been filled with water during flash floods. To reach it took, 4 hours and rappelling over 180 feet to the canyon floor. Once I did reach it, I found myself in a strange situation of having to drive myself to take as many of the type of shots that I wanted and mostly through fatigue. Whilst quantity is not a useful marker for quality, I found myself standing looking at the sheer canyon walls I had just dropped from and that only a handful of people have ever been to and practically none with the purpose of taking photos. That’s when I remembered one of a photographers prime responsibilities, which for me is to capture images and document experiences on behalf of others. After planning and working hard to reach this location, I had a responsibility to share this so that it would inspire others to go and visit new places as well. I am hoping that the shots that I have taken today give a brief look into a place that is rarely touched by human hand, very rarely seen, yet accessible to all who want to visit. I hope that these will inspire others to visit this and other locations as well