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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

What Does It Take To Photograph Zion National Park?

Rick Braveheart
Zion National Park welcomes Rick Braveheart as artist in residence. He will live and work in the park from February 3 - March 4, 2014.

Rick is a photographer and has created many stunning images of natural landscapes. You can see some of his work here. He will use this blog to document his work in Zion.

So, if you were Rick coming to Zion, what would you bring and how would you begin?

In his blog, Rick says:

Earlier today I finished packing the camera equipment, research material and a “few” pieces of clothing for this assignment. For those who enjoy knowing the details, over the past few months I have read more than 30 travel and historical books on Zion and Utah, carefully read over 60 websites and carefully studied 4 road, hiking and satellite maps of the area. The result: I begin this project with 86 pounds (39 kg) of camera gear, 48 pages of notes and numerous3 well-marked topographic, hiking and road maps.

Like all lengthy assignments, each piece of camera gear was carefully selected for this specific assignment. For this assignment it includes 3 Canon DSLR cameras with 6 lenses, 2 Canon point-and-shoot cameras, 2 GoPro portable cameras, 2 Brinno motion sensing cameras, 8 memory cards, 3 tripods, 5 terabytes of hard drive storage, 2 GPS unit, dozens of cables, 4 battery chargers, and 27 rechargeable batteries! I have also packed a Mamiya medium format B&W film camera and, as always, my favorite coffee cup.

Interesting... But that describes the mechanics more than the art. On the Zion Park website he says this:

Early in my photography career, I sought out subjects relying solely on my eyes and 'the rules of photography.' Now, the cameras are guided by my heart and a sacred respect for Nature. Instead of looking for subjects to photograph, I now listen quietly to the land and its creatures. Over time, some begin to speak or move themselves to the forefront of my awareness and reveal their beauty in ways my eyes alone would have never seen. When this occurs, I often discover that the camera has already taken the photograph.

And he concludes:

As a Native American (Tuscarora), I am guided by the principles of walking gently upon the Earth and honoring the land, its people and creatures to help maintain harmony in Nature. Where that harmony exists, beauty flourishes. My wish in each photograph I capture is to share the beauty of Nature and of the Earth. The more others can see and appreciate this beauty for themselves, the more they may come to realize the importance of helping to maintain it for future generations.

I, for one, look forward to seeing his work. Zion is one of my favorite subjects and I'm still trying to get to the stage where I discover my camera has taken a masterpiece.

- Dave Webb

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