The Virgin River flows through Zion Canyon near Weeping Rock, Zion Canyon National Park, Utah.
On this morning we were back in Zion Canyon, following the Virgin River up the Valley to various locations. While it was still quite early we had walked up to the base of Weeping Rock, deep in the shaded area in the center of this photograph, and photographed there in the quiet shade. Then we moved a short distance up this part of the canyon where it makes a rather sharp series of turns and stopped an a place where there were visits up, down, and across the Virgin River and along the huge sandstone cliffs in all directions.
Looking around, I saw that there were some scattered clouds that were moving across the sky and alternative shading and lighting various portions of the landscape, and creating some dramatic effects, especially when the light came from behind the group of cottonwood trees along the banks of the river below me. The skeletal forms of the trees' trunks were still clearly visible and, when the light was bright enough, they cast mirror-image shadows on the new grass below. The tops of the trees were fringed by new leaves, and these glowed brightly in the backlight coming from above the far cliffs above Weeping Rock. There was just enough haze in the air, amplified a bit by backlighting, to suggest the distance and massive size of the dark cliffs.
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.