Red Maple Trees, Autumn. Zion National Park, Utah. October 22 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Autumn red maple trees growing against a sandstone cliff, Zion National Park
Sometimes I just have to make a photograph that is full of color, and finding these trees constituted one of those “sometimes.” During the latter part of October we passed through Zion on our way to points east, so we spent most of a day along the Mount Carmel Highway looking for various subjects that can be found there in a fall. Among them, we were looking for autumn foliage. (The color comes to this high country area of Zion while things are still mostly green back down in Zion Canyon.) At this point some cottonwood and box elder trees were changing, though there was a lot of green still around. However, the red maples, which seem to change first, were at peak color conditions in many spots.
As we drove along the park road, we were more or less hanging out the windows, looking for those combinations of light (quality and angle), color (or trees and rocks), and geology that might make good photographs. Most often we found ourselves looking down into narrow canyons where colorful trees lined the banks of the stream beds. Sometimes we photographed from above, but the most productive shooting involved hiking down into these canyons and then slowly walking them while looking intently for subjects. Of course, the red maples don’t require a lot of careful looking! This group of trees was in a shady curve in the bottom of a canyon, so I found a frame-filling bunch of branches and leaves and made a few exposures.
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.