Wordy Wednesday #201 “Zion National Park in Infrared”

Zion National Park is located near Springdale, Utah, about 700miles southwest of Denver. Zion Canyon, which is a prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park, is 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.


The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain. The park’s unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest.

But what it is most is the best ever place that I have found to make digital infrared photographs. The above image was made with a Canon EOS 50D that had been converted to inf5rared by LifePixel. Lens was my now discontinued but wonderful Tamron SP AF 11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD Aspherical (at 15mm) that has been replaced by what I expect is a equally wonderful SP 10-24MM F/3.5-4.5 Di II lens. Exposure was 1/125 sec at f/9 and ISO 200, which points up the big advantage of shooting infrared with an infrared camera as opposed to using an on-camera filter—you can handhold the camera instead of placing it on a tripod.

You can try infrared photography yourself by having one of your old cameras that’s gathering dust converted to IR-only operation. By using the coupon code “farace” at LifePixel, you can save processing time when converting your camera to infrared.IR.book.cover

Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography (A Lark Photography Book) is currently out of print but you can get an affordable used copy and not-so-affordable new copies of the book from Amazon.com.

A Big PS: Several years ago a photographer friend and I discussed conducting a workshop in infrared photography in Zion National Park but we never got around to it. He has moved onto other pursuits but if anyone is interested in an IR workshop in Zion, click on Contact and let me know. If there’s enough interest, Ill try to get one scheduled this summer.

Author: Joe Farace

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