Grand Canyon: One Off The Bucket List

Magnificent? Breathtaking? Awe Inspiring? Really there are no words suitable to describe my feelings as I stood on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Its textures, colours, shapes and size gave me the feeling that I was on another planet. A huge slice of geologic history lay right in front of me.

Over our 3 day visit I was very busy making photographs. I bracketed, made panoramas and experimented with a variety of my lenses in an effort capture images that would reflect my vision of the Canyon.

At around 7000 feet above sea level temperatures were much cooler than they had been in the Phoenix, AZ area that morning. Snow was still evident in some shaded areas of the Canyon’s walls. As the afternoon advanced into evening I captured a variety of images including the Canyon lit by the last rays of the sun at twilight.

Rising well before sunup the next morning I headed for Mather’s Point. It was cold. As I arrived many were already waiting for the sun to rise. Some, like me were serious photographers. Their tripods and cameras already set up I hurried to catch up. Most others were there to take ‘selfies’ with the sun rising behind.

Gradually, early light brought depth and definition to the dark canyon. And, a stiff canyon wind began to blow. I thought I had dressed appropriately for the cold and wind. I was warm enough except for my hands. My fingers were numb from the cold making it difficult to quickly adjust my camera. I persevered until the sun was well up and the canyon fully lit.

As I headed back to my truck I noticed that a large herd of Elk was in front of me. In fact they were all around me as I walked down the wide path to the parking lot. Realizing that I couldn’t back up to avoid them I continued. A couple of Elk walked towards me on the path. We passed eyeing each other suspiciously.

Further down the path I noticed a younger photographer who had been set up next to me on the rim. He was holding his tripod with just 2 fingers. It was dripping wet. Having stopped to take a few shots he had left his gear on the path. An Elk ‘pissed’ on his tripod. He was indignant but thankful that his camera bag was spared.

So, I was able to scratch one item off my bucket list. I had what I hoped were decent images and a few stories to tell as well. However, after reviewing my images I realized that I needed to make a second visit.

The Grand Canyon is so big. I was overwhelmed. My images show this. While some are certainly acceptable many others are not. Perhaps, I need more time to let the trip sink in before attempting to work with the images I did make. That fact remains though. I need to make a second visit.

Next time though, rather than immediately trying to capture the vastness of the canyon I will start with small vistas and objects and move to larger compositions. So, the Grand Canyon is back on my bucket list.

Grand Canyon View

This entry was posted in Education, My Work, Travel.

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