You can find many colorful scenes in Zion especially along the Virgin River and it’s tributaries. The golden cottonwoods are plentiful along the water ways so it’s common to find them with their roots running into the streams and creeks but you’ll have to do quite a bit searching to find some red maples very close to the waters edge. They add a splash of color to your Zion scene even if they are red and orange just like the walls of the canyon, at peak they pop against colors in the canyon.
The large cottonwood is what initially drew me into the scene, after a student pointed it out but I couldn’t compose it into the scene the way I wanted to and include the maples and reflection so I shifted the lens and merged a couple of files in photoshop. By doing this I was able to include all 3 major elements, the giant cottonwood, red maples and the reflection in a way I found pleasing. By moving the camera you’re increasing you file size and you can easily remove the restraint of the rectangular box viewfinder or LCD. They both exclude the surroundings and help us compose but in a way the LCD and veiwfinder can be limiting so it’s best to keep your options open.