Before I went to Zion National Park last November, I read a book called Photographing the Southwest by Laurent Martres to get ideas for the best sunrise and sunset locations. The recommendation for sunrise was Tower of the Virgin.
The best place to photograph it is from the patio area behind the Zion musuem. The book said there would be a lot of photographers lined up, but on this day there were only a couple of other people there when I arrived and who left shortly after I arrived.
I got there about 45 minutes before sunrise, helped by the fact that sunrise was around 7:30. At this hour there was plenty of light to see and photograph by. I knew I needed to wait for the actual sunrise, but I really didn’t know what to expect when the sun came up.
Just before sunrise, a photographer came up and asked me “Is this it? What is it supposed to look like?” She took some photographs before apparently deciding not to hang around it find out. Then the sun starting coming up and spreading this golden glow across the top of the mountain. At the same time I hear someone running. The photographer had seen from the parking lot what effect the sun was having and came running back to catch it. She almost missed something pretty spectacular.
You can checkout the rest of my photos from Zion in my SmugMug gallery