Sunrise in Zion Nov 2022

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

Your reaction to the mood and lighting will be most appreciated.

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

This was taken on a cold November morning in 2022 after pre-dawn hiking. I loved the scene and dwelled there for 90 minutes as the clouds and mist moved around. This is my favorite of the many photos I took.

Technical Details

f 8.0, 29mm, ISO 64, 1/60 second, Nikon Z7II with Z 24-70 2.8 lens


Great to see a post from you. Most certainly there is great, dynamic light and mood, if you can call it a mood - is that experience we most all have had of that “clearing storm.” Those inspiring moments when the light and conditions change quickly. These are the moments we seem to hope for whenever we’re out in nature. That’s my initial reaction.

Then my analytical brain kicks in for my minor suggestions. The general colors, saturation and of course the light/exposure all look great. The rest as they say, are subjective choices.

Now I’ve never actually been to Zion (sadly, sadly) so my opinion on color are likely biased on what I’ve seen on the web and sometimes in print. I expect the color is quite accurately depicted, but i’m wondering if the “red” rock could be brought out a little bit? Again, very subjective. Also, on the shaded side of the main mountain, I was thinking maybe a teanie bit more contrast? not a biggie. The only other nit to mention is the LLC; the open space there draws the eye a little. Again, very minor.

The cloud/sky is terrific and handled nicely. Actually make me wonder what this might look in B&W.

Excellent image as presented with great and dynamic light and mood. Thanks for posting!

Neat photo Bill!

My first reaction was immediately being captivated by the mountain, and the light hitting the face, added with the mist, creating a very awe-inspiring feel to the mountain.
I did think though that although the low saturation/color/vibrancy of the vegetation ON the mountain looks good, the vegetation around the mountain, especially where the light hits, is relatively flat. I can tell there are interesting colors there, but would have enjoyed them being brought out a bit more, especially to separate the yellows and the greens, and the ground floor.

The sky complements the mountain in my opinion. the opening on the right does draw my attention a bit because it is bright(er) but it’s not too prominent

Thank you. These are helpful comments.

Hi Bill. I really like the light you captured there. I also enjoy the framing. Having recently been in Zion Im actually going to say that reds almost look muted to my eye.