Photography is far from a hobby reserved only for professionals. Armed with just a camera and a few simple tips, anyone can snap amazing photos that will help them take home a piece of their vacation and show off the incredible views they enjoyed during their trip.

Keep reading to learn a few easy ways that you can capture stunning landscape photographs during your Zion adventure.

Choose a Focal Point

When you’re looking out from the summit of Angels Landing, you might be thinking only of capturing the view as you’re seeing it. But before you look out and start snapping away, choose a focal point.

It may not seem as though landscape photos have a focal point, but the best ones actually do. Your focal point will be what your viewers’ eyes go to first. It creates a point of focus in your image, balancing the other elements in your scene. 

Choose your focal point, and then apply the Rule of Thirds to line up that point. To use the rule of thirds, imagine that your photo is divided into three parts, either horizontally or vertically, depending on whether you are shooting horizontally or vertically. Those three parts are created with two lines running down your image. To make your photo pleasing to the eye, place your focal point in the center of one of those two lines. 

You can also place your focal point in the center of your photo, just as long as either side of the center is symmetrical, creating balance.

Place Points of Interest in Front of Your Focal Point

When you’re shooting landscape images in Zion National Park, choose a focal point that’s far in the distance, and then fill the foreground of your image with interesting details. Maybe you crouch to fill the foreground with interest rock formations. Or you fill it with stunning Fall colors far below the overlook you’ve climbed to.

These details help add interest to your photograph. Your viewers’ eyes will go straight to that focal point, and then take in all of the visual interest in front of it next.

Don’t Forget the Sky

Zion’s vibrant blue sky is stunning to witness in person. Unfortunately, on a cloudless day, it doesn’t create a lot of visual interest for your photograph. Including too much of it may draw attention away from the rest of the scenery in your picture.

If the sky is clear, angle your photo to include less of it. But if the sky is cloudy, or sunset is filling it with color, you can make the sky as much a part of your photo as the mountains, cliffs, or trees.

Use a Tripod

With so many elements being captured in your photographs, and a high elevation or wind getting in your way, a tripod is a must for taking landscape photos. A camera tripod will help keep your camera nice and steady, which will keep your pictures from turning out blurry.

If you’re using a longer exposure during low-light, you should also use a remote to snap your photo. Whether you opt for wired or wireless, a remote helps to limit your contact with the camera. Every bit of contact can cause your camera to move, which can cause blurring. These small movements may not have much of an impact on images when lighting is good, but it will be noticeable at dusk, dawn, or at night while using a flash.

Another benefit of having a tripod and remote or delayed shutter along is the ability to capture group photos, or if you’re traveling alone, pictures of yourself enjoying the beauty of the park.

Freeze the Moment

Having a tripod along gives you the chance to freeze movement and create unique and interesting photos. Whether its water falling over Weeping Rock or the flow of the Virgin River in The Narrows, a tripod and knowledge of how to utilize your shutter can help you create movement in a still photograph.

Not comfortable enough with your camera yet to freeze these movements? You can still use water to make an interesting shot. Ripples in water are easy to capture. Look for reflections in pools of water as well and balance them with the real image above the water.

Capture the Golden Hour

If you want your very own professional-quality, beautiful photographs of Zion to help you remember your trip forever, head to the park during the Golden Hours

The Golden Hours refers to the time around dawn and dusk when the sun is low and the light takes on a yellow-gold glow. If you know how to work your camera’s shutter to make sure that your images get enough light without being overexposed, it’s easy to capture beautiful photographs this time of day. The color of the light has a way of adding drama to every photograph, turning everyday scenes into something extraordinary.

Capturing Photos of Your Trip to Zion National Park

Photographs are a wonderful way to capture the beauty of Zion National Park and take home memories that you’ll treasure forever. While there is no bad time to visit the park, when it comes to snapping stunning photos, you can’t beat the changing Fall colors for creating incredible scenes. Check out these 4 reasons why Fall is the best time to visit the park and start planning your next visit today!