Pink Coral Sand Dunes and Zion National Park in the Darkroom Discards

I once vacationed with a group of hikers who were also photographers, and I felt I was out of my league.  I felt that as a photographer, and as a person who takes nature walks (i.e., not a REAL hiker).  Those feelings of insecurity stayed with me while I reviewed the images, so I was less than enthusiastic about them.  It has taken me the distance of five years to appreciate the beauty of these (mostly) landscape images.  They were ‘darkroom discards’ in the in the sense that I had not objectively assessed them; these images were certainly underappreciated.

My BAD.  Because the truth is the images are wonderful, and this selection demonstrates that — the images range from tiny wildflowers to the majestic facade of Zion Canyon and the sprawling expanse of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the self-named state park.


  • Marching in the Sands: What amazing formations nature has given us!  These coral dunes are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park.  High winds blowing through the mountainous area helped to form the dunes 10,000 to 15,000 years ago.  Seeing them, and learning the history of their formation was an amazing experience.  It is hard to comprehend their scale; one unmistakable sign:  those ‘spikes’ in the sandscape are actually people!


  • Attention of a Raven:   I was lucky that this raven stopped to preen and pose for me.    I just happened to be there, and this intrepid fellow seemed accustomed to hanging around tourists.  I took my time, while he took his, and this is image I came away with.  I can almost feel the raven’s intense gaze.


  • Mountain Wildflowers: These little red flowers dotted the rocky hillsides, growing in shady crevasses.  Such delicate, vibrant blooms!  What a wonderful find – red is my favorite color.


  • Majestic:   Awe-inspiring.  Breathtaking.  ‘Nuf said.


  • Nature’s Tapestry:   Even though I know this is a photograph, a digital image, it looks like a painting to me.  The muted layers of the cloud-filled sky and mountains in the background, with the sun washed sandstone hills and hoodoos in the foreground.  I can see the artist’s palette…the paintbrush dabbing colors…seeing the images emerge from nature’s canvas…Wow!


  • Nightshade: I was fooled by the curled pale pink petals of this nightshade flower (jimson weed) time and time again.  During the day, the petals are closed, coiled and delicate, and the flower is long and tubular.  In contrast to most flowers, the petals open at dusk, like the flare of horn.  Until I saw the transformation happen, I had no idea the trumpet like bloom and the tubular petal were the same flower!

Yes it’s true.  I should never have let my emotions get the best of me.  The images from this trip were beautiful, and should never have been in the darkroom discard pile.  I have now been more objective in culling through these, and have many more four- and five-star images to share.  Hope you enjoyed these.

See more outtakes from this and other photography outings by following me on Instagram @eyevpointofview.

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