At some point in 2021, a new idea for a series emerged while out hiking and shooting in Zion National Park. I’m not totally sure how it happened and I wasn’t looking for it. Upon creating my first image of the soon to be series, I immediately knew I wanted to continue creating similar images. I was intrigued by both the initial image and the idea of what else I could create.
I created the first image for this series in March 2021, but I had no clear idea of the purpose of this series. I knew the initial image was interesting, but that was all and I had no further clarity. After some thought, I decided I was OK with not having a clear vision for the series and letting the images and experience determine the purpose of the series. Time went on and I had made a few more images in the series with many more failures. Slowly, a purpose and understanding was forming with each outing to Zion.
I’ve currently made 10 images in this series over the past 11 months. My current thought is to have the collection be between 10-15 images which I’ll add new ones and remove less interesting ones. I hope to have a collection of 10-15 images which are a curated selection before finishing this series. That time is nowhere in the near future though.
The last few visits to Zion have helped me define my purpose for this series. I want to create images which are unique for the viewer yet give further understanding of the complex landscape of Zion National Park. The jagged skylines of Zion are inspirational to so many people, both present and past. The vertical red walls tower over you and surround you, yet create a sense of comfort and protection. Zion has been referred to as a “sanctuary” by many and at the tops of these protective towers are the skylines which define Zion.
Looking at these skylines in reality is inspiring enough. When viewed with the use of a camera though, a new form of reality and inspiration comes into view. The unseen symmetry, the invisible geometry and the inspirational forms are all displayed in a way in which our eyes limit us from seeing. Creating these images while under these humbling walls, I feel I’m seeing Zion for the first time and I gaze upon the skylines differently than ever before.
Isn’t this the purpose of art? To feel something beyond our senses? To gain a different perspective on life, on reality? This series has given me new eyes to explore a landscape I love and a way to see with my imagination, soul and eyes. I can’t wait to continue creating these images and to once again, gaze upon the inspiring skylines of Zion.
I’ll revisit this series in a blog post upon the conclusion with some final thoughts. You can always check for recent updates and order prints on my website where they’re posted: Zion Skylines.
Thanks for looking and reading, Eric.