The Emerald Pools trail is an easy hike, but it is uphill to the falls (assuming there is any water flowing). What’s easy for Zion might be described as moderate somewhere else.
During our stay we hiked the Emerald Pools trail several times. On our last hike there was much more water flowing but many leaves had fallen off. These images were after a rainstorm.
Feature Image Details
- Canon EOS 6D (I now use and highly recommend the EOS 5D Mark IV )
- Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens: (my favorite lens) at 24 MM.
- F16 for 1.6 seconds ISO 50
Using ISO 50 on Canon is a mistake that I was unaware of on the Zion trip. ISO 50 can make shadow details a bit worse. If wind and other conditions permit, ISO 100 is the best choice.
The feature image is a set of several images combined in a manual HDR process using luminosity masks and curves. I cannot say I recommend the procedure as it takes a long time to master. Luminosity masks are very complex to setup for the casual user.
Lightroom has HDR merge, but it did not do a good job on this image. There are HDR programs for a Mac that are highly acclaimed. They will be available for a PC this Autumn.
The software tools use luminosity masks so you do not need to learn them directly.
It is easy to produce a natural looking starburst without filters by positioning the sun on the edge of an object. The star is caused by light bending around the diaphragm blades of the lens.
In this case, I positioned the sun right on the edge of the cliff. One can use a tree branch, edge of a building or any other suitable object.
Some lenses produce better starbursts than other. The 9-bladed Canon 16-35 MM lens produces an exceptional star. Canon’s 14 MM lens only has 4 blades and produces a relatively poor star.
An even number of diaphragm blades provides that many rays. An odd number provides double.
Additional Lower Emerald Pool Image
Other Zion National Park Images
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Three – Inside the Subway
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Two – The Crack
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part One – Archangel Falls
- Zion National Park Autumn – Great White Throne
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Lower Emerald Pools Part 1
Mike “Mish” Shedlock