Those wishing to run photography workshops in the park must obtain a “Commercial Use Authorization,” and each group is limited to 12 photographers. But what’s unusual about this year’s regulations is the sweeping ban on tripods across all of the park’s trails (monopods, however, are allowed).
Fstoppers reports that the park has had some restrictions on the use of tripods since 2016, but they were still permitted on certain trails and in select areas of the park. As of 2018, there are now no areas where they are permitted except paved parking areas and pullouts.
The ban is apparently to prevent photographers from getting in the way of the “general visiting public” in the park.
“Permittees are responsible for the conduct of their clients and must advise clients to stay on trails, walk single file, and allow the public to pass,” the new regulations state.
You can read the new rules in full here:
The banning of tripods could be a big hindrance to landscape photographers due to how invaluable tripods are in shooting tack-sharp photos of the great outdoors. The lack of a three-legged support also means exploring more creative photographic options will be harder. Things like long exposures, panoramas, and HDR photos may be much more difficult to shoot, and nighttime photography workshops themselves are banned due to the restriction:
“Since nighttime photography requires the use of tripods and tripods are not authorized on park trails, nighttime photography is not authorized on park trails,” the policy states.
Do keep in mind, though, that the new guidelines don’t apply to you if you’re a hobbyist photographer visiting Zion National Park — it’s only a restriction on photography in a commercial capacity and in the context of a photo workshop.