In late December, just a couple days after Christmas, I had a chance to visit Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park. Zion is the sixth most visited national park in America and is the most visited national park in Utah. Kolob Canyon is a lesser known section of the park that’s isolated from the rest. We found a little snow on the ground from a storm the week before.
Access to Kolob Canyon is easy because it’s right off of Interstate 15 between St. George and Cedar City. A quick five-mile dead-end road curves through the scenic canyon. Because those on the freeway are just passing through and it’s a bit out of the way for those visiting the main part of the park, it just gets overlooked. It really is a hidden gem!
Kolob Canyon is full of impressive red-orange cliffs, finger canyons and sweeping vistas. It’s higher in elevation than the more-visited sections of Zion, so the landscape is little more green and a little less desert. It’s easy to see why this area was included in the national park, it’s just chocked full of natural beauty!
My short visit to the park was not during ideal light conditions for photography. The sky was a deep blue, but the sun was harsh and nearly overhead. My family and I arrived at 12:40 in the afternoon and we left about an hour-and-a-half later. Undeterred by the problematic light, I used my Fujifilm X100F to capture the grand sights that were before me. I used my wide-angle conversion lens for many of the exposures.
All of these photographs are camera-made JPEGs; however, I used Fujifilm’s X RAW Studio to process the RAW files (click the link if that statement is confusing to you). I used my Velvia Film Simulation recipe, but adjusted shadows to -1 and sometimes -2 because the shadows were harsh. I adjusted highlights to -2 in a few of the images, as well. In retrospect, I wonder if using DR400 would have worked better. Either way, I’m pretty happy with the results, all things considered.