Zion National Park in Infrared

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ― John Muir

I have shot infrared images all over this country and even some in Mexico but by far the best place that I’ve found to make infrared images is Zion National Park. The Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of its 229-square-miles is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain.

The above image was shot using my second oldest Canon IR camera—an EOS 30D—that was replaced by an EOS 50D converted to infrared by Life Pixel with their Standard IR conversion. Lens was the wonderful Tamron AF 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di-II SP LD Aspherical (IF) lens that while officially discontinued is available via these Amazon sellers at attractive prices. The lens that replaced it is Tamron’ SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II HLD that’s available at slightly higher prices.

Exposure was 1/160 sec at f/16 and ISO 400. For more information about exposing for infrared photography, please read this post when you have time. Image was captured as a RAW file that was then converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro, then toned with Photokit 2. See this post with updates about this useful plug-in.

PS. Sometime in the future I would like to hold an infrared workshop in Zion National Park. A few years ago one of the big photography websites approached me about sponsoring such a workshop, but with a change of their ownership the offer evaporated. If your organization is interested in sponsoring such a workshop, please click the Contact button and let’s talk.


Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions and they have done most of the conversions for my Canon DSLRs and all of my Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras. This is not a paid or sponsored endorsement, just my experience.

My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is available from Amazon with used copies selling for $7.77, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with used copies starting at $3.87, less than the price of a Starbucks latte.