Work the Scene

My latest post to the Outdoor Photographer blog, Work the Scene, discusses the merits of trying different angles and positions when photographing a location. The image used to illustrate the post, below, was taken while leading my recent photo workshop in Zion National Park.

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Several of my students and I lined up to photograph this scene along the Virgin River. Initially attracted to the graphic crack in the rock and the diagonal lines coming in from the upper corners formed by the trees, I realized that the scene needed something more. I started splashing water on the foreground rocks to deepen their color and to remove any unsightly bright spots, and then my students and I scattered some fallen leaves over the rocks to enhance the leaves that were already there. Although not strictly natural, these “enhancements” helped improve the look of the scene, and we had some fun in the process.

Technical details: Canon 5D Mark II camera, 14-24mm lens (@14mm), ISO 100, f/14, 0.5 seconds, polarizer filter to remove glare.

Ian PlantAbout Ian Plant (401 Posts)

Ian Plant's photographs and instructional articles have appeared in a number of books, calendars, and magazines, including Outdoor Photographer and Popular Photography. Ian writes a regular blog column for Outdoor Photographer online, and he is the author of numerous instructional eBooks and videos. Ian leads several photo tours each year.


  • Amazing photo, Ian. I like the dramatic crack in the rock.

    • Ian


  • Love this, Ian! I looked on your website for a workshop to Zion in 2012 – are you not planning to go there in 2012?

  • My friends, Charlie and Frieda Blassingame led me to your website and I’m so glad that they did. Your photography is breathtaking!

    • Ian

      Thanks Christine, very kind of you to say!