Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Grand Canyon

There isn't anything I can say about the Grand Canyon that hasn't already been said in countless books, and though endless photographs. Language is a woefully inadequate medium to try to convey the meaning of a place like this.

I arrived there with perhaps an hour of daylight left, maybe less. The throng of tourists here at the South Rim was thick, and despite being on the bike it was hard to find parking. Someone did make a comment on my armored jacket as I walked by, saying "Man, whatever you're planning on doing, it does NOT look safe!". I think they assumed I was going BASE jumping or something.

(For scale, those little dots under the spot of lens flare are people)

I wandered around a lot taking pictures from the different vantage points, and the sun dropped rapidly, making shadows even more pronounced.

(Again, those are people next to the lens flare)

Eventually, the sun got low enough that the light changed, and everything turned bright red.

In a flash, the sun was gone, and everything plunged into darkness.

With the sun down, it started to cool off quickly, and I headed east out of the park, into the national forest to camp for the night. I felt I'd gotten some good pictures, but nothing that really struck me as amazing. It was the same views from the same places that everyone else was, and I found myself wishing for a wider lens.

As I set up camp that evening, I set my alarm for 1am, resolving to go back for more photos that night.

It turned out to be one of the single best decisions I've ever made as a photographer.

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