Spring Cottonwoods, Zion Canyon. Zion National Park, Utah. April 3, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
New spring leaves appear on cottonwood trees along the Virgin River in Zion Canyon, Zion National Park.
This is a type of photograph that I enjoy searching out – though it is also a type that can be difficult to present effectively in online jpg form, given the amount of fine detail that is present. The challenge is in trying to capture both the dense complexity of the thick foliage and the complex patterns of rock – and these things fill the frame completely – and still try to find some sort of compositional logic that might still be visible in the end. In general, I think these things work better in fairly large prints.
The scene is along a section of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon of Zion National Park. A trail continues up the canyon beyond the point that is accessible via the park service shuttles. Here the canyon gradually narrows, and thickets of young cottonwood trees grow on the valley floor in what I believe must be the sediment left behind by floods. The canyon itself becomes a bit more convoluted, twisting right and left around the vertical sandstone walls. For much of the day there is little or no direct sunlight at the bottom of the canyon, and that was certainly the case during the time when I made this photograph.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.