Bridge Mountain Detail, Sunset, Zion National Park

Bridge Mountain Detail, Sunset, Zion National Park

While photographing the Virgin River, as I posted yesterday, I was constantly looking back up at the peaks above me. The sunlight was quickly climbing up the rock walls, leaving me with less and less reflected light to work with in the river reflections. I did, however, stop to realize that I was enjoying the scene up above me as much as the colorful reflections in the river below.

As I took this photo, just a moment after my Virgin River photograph, the light was still striking the top of Bridge Mountain, above these trees pictuted here. This scene reminds me, in a way, of looking at the walls of Yosemite Valley as well. As you look far up above you through binoculars or a zoom lens you realize that those tiny details are really towering trees. It reminds you just how massive and overwhelming these canyon walls really are.

From a technical perspective, one challenge arose when trying to prepare this image file to share online, and that was related to color gamut. To show this online it's in sRGB colorspace, which is a very small range of colors. This was particularly limiting in the upper right of the image where the sunlight is directly shining on the red rock - the red channel is essentially saturated here. The only way to keep that channel from completely saturating was to keep the image a little darker than I wanted. But, with the image being darker, a lot of details throughout the rest of the image (such as the trees) were too muddy and indiscernable, so I lightened those areas. Lightening those areas, however, resulted in reduced contrast between the shadowed areas (most of the photograph) and the sunlit area at the top, which eliminated or marginalized part of what drew me to this photograph in the first place. Preparing photographs for prints (in which you're able to display fairly vivid color gamuts) and for viewing online (in which you're only able to display a smaller color gamut) is always a matter of balancing compromisez, though I found this to be a particularly difficult case. Ultimately, I suspect this photograph will present better as a finished print that it will online.

Be sure to check out the contributions from my fellow travelers, friends John and Suad, or look in our group photo pool.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 70-210mm@190mm | f/10 | 1/40s | ISO200 | Tripod

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