Location: Zion National Park

Zion National Park Subway. Singh-Ray Warming Filter.

I recently got back from my trip to Zion National Park. I was hoping for peak colors, but I just missed them. I guess I'll have to go back a little earlier next year. Despite the lack of fall colors on the trees, there were still some colorful leaves on the ground, which made it the perfect time to do the Subway. The hike is 9 miles total, with several photo opportunities in the last 1/4 mile. So many iconic shots from this hike, I didn't even realize! Nothing really conveys the feeling of walking into the Subway for the first time, though. It was really magical. I had the whole thing to myself for a good hour or so. It was incredible. The sun reflected off the walls to light up the curvature of the rock, as if on purpose. Potholes that have been continually beaten by rock and debris lay in the foreground filled to the brim with rushing water. If you have not been, I would highly recommend it. At this time of year, the water was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I decided to ditch the wetsuit and just go in wool socks and hikers. It was a good choice.

Zion National Park Subway. Singh-Ray Warming Filter.

Doing this hike made me want to do it again and again. I think next time I'll want to try going from top to bottom, but for this one it was the round trip route starting and finishing at the bottom. A recent storm made the pools a little muddier than their usual emerald color, but it was still pretty amazing.

Right before you get to the Subway (coming from the bottom) you reach the famous Arch Angel Waterfalls. Steps of waterfalls most often photographed during the fall, and for good reason.

Zion National Park Arch Angel Waterfalls. Singh-Ray Warming Filter.

In between the Arch Angel Waterfall steps and the Subway is the slot flowing with water. It seems like someone just came in and carved out their own irrigation ditch. The water is moving so quickly through the small crack these two 3.2 second exposures came out silky and smooth.

Zion National Park Crack in Subway. Singh-Ray Warming Filter.

Although my goal was to photograph the Subway and all the iconic places within the Subway, I did go with the intent to capture Zion in a different light, ironically enough. I always strive to bring home images that are a little bit different, especially in iconic places. I want to capture the feeling, more so than what the eye sees at the typical lookout. I think emotional photography can be even more powerful than iconic imagery.


Published: November 12, 2013


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