My one and only trip to the Grand Canyon was unforgettable – we want to go back but competing priorities have gotten in the way. Maybe when we have some little ones we can take a road trip like the Griswolds.
View from the Rim (Grand Canyon National Park)
My goal is that after seeing ‘Grand Canyon,’ every person in the audience will go home knowing they have to conserve water: even something as simple as installing a low-flow toilet or showerhead, or turning off the faucet while they’re brushing their teeth.
I took this picture years ago – in 2012 – when we visited Grand Canyon National Park following some a training I had for work. Clearly, I process images out-of-order and there is a reason for that which I’m reminded of all the time. It’s always fun for me to go back and revisit pictures – not just the landscape ones of course but also the silly ones where we are out hiking the trails or having dinner. The memories formed on these trips are invaluable and I love going back and revisiting them as often as I can.
The Mighty Colorado River (Grand Canyon National Park)
In this image I liked the clear display of the layers of the Grand Canyon – it was a bit hazy in the distance so I had to darken up the upper right corner of the image so you could make out the ridges far off near the horizon. I added a little contrast to the image as well to make each of them pop from the other and also bumped up the reds a bit since the haze made the color a little washed out.
Five or six MILLION years ago the Grand Canyon started to take its shape as the Colorado River slowly eroded the rock underneath it. Running nearly 1,500 miles long it is one of the longest rivers in the United States and one of the most important. It’s amazing what the power of a single river can do.
During our trip to the Grand Canyon we were treated to some pretty crazy weather but with that weather came epic clouds which made shooting during the day interesting as well. Normally, I avoid shooting landscapes during the day but when the clouds are big and puffy like this you can fire away all day long.
Clouds over the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon National Park)
This was the first picture I shot when we entered the park. Initially we just did the drive around the South Rim taking in the different vantage points but on the way back I got out and shot a few pictures before we checked in to the hotel and went back out for sunset pictures.
The Grand Canyon in this picture looks stunning and sharp – the edges of the photo are a little blurry but I’ll chalk that up to the lens/camera body I was using at the time which isn’t as sharp as my setup today. However, the main focal point (the canyon itself) with the shadows from the clouds passing over is stunning (in my humble opinion). One of my favorite shots from the trip but it took me almost three years to process it!
Three years ago we spent a week hiking and photographing in the Grand Canyon. During that time we were treated to some pretty nasty weather – flash storms and abnormal amounts of rain for the middle of the dessert. However, that meant that we were also treated to some pretty sweet skies at sunset – this night in particular a storm was approaching over the canyon and the setting sun lit up the rain and made a nice purple streak as it swept across the canyon.
Purple Rain in the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon National Park)
I’d love to go back one day but maybe next time check out Horsehoe Bend on the North Rim.
A few years back my wife and I spent a few days in the Grand Canyon. It was the beginning of the fall when we were there so there was little chance of snow. This week the Grand Canyon had snow before we did here in Chicago – however, we’ve more than caught up now as we are back under a deep freeze. I’m not sure it’s been above zero on a temperature basis all week. Warmer days are ahead though and I’m hoping to get out this weekend to take some pictures around the city.
Last Light on the Grand Canyon
“Do nothing to mar it’s grandeur, for the ages have been at work upon it and man cannot improve it. Keep it for your children, your children’s children and all who come after you.”
— Theodore Roosevelt
It’s been awhile since I revisited my pictures from our trip to the Grand Canyon in 2012 but last week I saw a funny blurb on ‘The Funniest Bad Yelp Reviews of National Parks’ and it caused me to go back and take a look at some old images to see if there are any I may have missed over the past two years.
I came across this picture which was one of the last images I took while I was in the Grand Canyon – I headed out to Yaki Point for sunrise that morning and was treated to a really nice one. The majestic colors had come and gone but the sun was still low enough that it was painting light across the canyon and causing shadows to slowly work there way through the canyon. As I was waiting for the bus to come pick me up I was sitting on a rock watching the light and noticed the rays were strong and visible – hoping to pick them up I grabbed the camera and shot a few images at different tones of light.
Early Morning sun lights up the Grand Canyon
Want to see what the original exposure of this image looked like? Here is a link to the ‘Before and After’ version of it. Quite an amazing improvement by capturing additional ranges of the light in the Canyon.
By the way the review from Yelp about the Grand Canyon was:
“As amazing as the views are it is really kind of boring. Every 500 ft a new vantage point of the same thing: a really big hole in the ground. Don’t get me wrong, the canyon is amazing. What would be better is a guided tour of the canyon from open-air view trams via a very long (much longer than exists) rim side roadway. What would also be nice is Segway rentals, but I know the reason why this isn’t done is because someone would inevitably drive off the edge of the canyon to their death.”
And because of that – the Grand Canyon only gets ‘one star’. I couldn’t agree with this reviewers assessment any less – each vantage point does provide a unique view of the canyon.
If you’ve made it this far – Thanks! But that isn’t why I put that here – I am starting to (finally) transition over to a new website and blog. If you clicked on the ‘Before/After’ link then you visited that new site. This is in ‘demo’ stage but it is coming together. Please take some time and click around – let me know what you think in the comments here. Thanks again for spending some time here today!
A tip if you ever plan on going to the Grand Canyon and hope to watch the sunset or the sunrise from one of the numerous viewing platforms on the South Rim…Back in 2012 we spent five days in the Grand Canyon and had the opportunity to take in a few sunsets. The Grand Canyon is pretty amazing but unfortunately since alot of the areas are off limits and well there is a giant canyon your viewing areas are limited. As such the viewing platforms are typically very clustered and you are forced to get in position sixty to ninety minutes in advance and then you have to defend your position. Sunrises – for obvious reasons – are a little less crowded but still expect to have more people (10 – 20) than you typically would at other national park locations where the views are more spread out.