I'm in Death Valley for a workshop this week with not lots of time to post.
Today's image I took on a chilly spring morning several years ago, on my first visit to the Grand Canyon as a photographer (I'd been there as a child). The road to Yaki Point was closed for maintenance so the shuttle driver deposited me about a mile away, in complete darkness. He suggested a trail that may shorten my walk a bit--it wasn't until I returned on the same route in full daylight that I realized how close I'd actually been skirting the canyon's rim. (I think the shortcut the driver must have been referring to was to the Colorado River a mile below.)
By the time I made it all the way out to Yaki Point the horizon was starting to brighten to reveal some potential for nice color in the thin clouds hanging there. I continued walking east along the rim, searching for a foreground subject. I found this great tree and decided to set up shop here, making a number of compositions featuring "my discovery" in the changing light. It wasn't until later, when I started recognizing other Yaki Point images using the same tree, that I realized my discovery wasn't quite so groundbreaking.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be a fine morning with beautiful pink hues that complemented the canyon walls perfectly. I opted for a vertical composition because it enabled me to emphasize the sky.
Believe it or not, the Grand Canyon is a difficult place to photograph well. It took me several return trips before I felt like I was finally getting it. This image underscores the difficulty that comes with photographing popular locations the first time. Our eyes, trained by the photographs of others, tend to go to the more obvious subjects and compositions. And while we may get nice results, it's difficult to come away with something truly special (unique). It's not until we really become familiar with a location that we can see beyond the obvious to capture the area's essence and make it our own.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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