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On the Edge, Yaki Point, Grand Canyon

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 28 January 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

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.

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Daniel from Kenmare, United States

nice morning view.

28 Jan 2010 5:34am

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Awesome capture - the place to be!

28 Jan 2010 5:45am

Photosanity from Folsom, United States

Gorgeous Shot Gary!

28 Jan 2010 6:54am

KriKridesign from Cully, Switzerland

GORGEOUS...and I MUST visit the US!

28 Jan 2010 8:03am

LM from Aix en Provence, France

Splendid , I like your composition, well done

28 Jan 2010 8:19am

Monique from Netherlands

Beautiful captured, amazing scenery!

28 Jan 2010 8:46am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Like an explosion of light in the sky ! Beautiful.

28 Jan 2010 12:25pm

Elora from Genoa, Italy

wow AMAZING! The colour here is fantastic :)

28 Jan 2010 12:52pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Love the intense play of colors..great!

28 Jan 2010 1:26pm

Raul from Elmhurst, United States

Breathtaking view! Great image!

28 Jan 2010 1:33pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

I don't mind that others may have made similar images! The light and clarity in yous are stunning! I love that I can see the texture and details of the far away rim, It goes very nicely with the texture of the old log and gives me an overall ancient, timeless feeling. When I am out somewhere for the first time, I like not having seen too many images from that place, that way I feel like my compositions are more "my own" and that I am not unconsciously copying something I have seen. I have only seen the GC one time, and was so overwhelmed....I would love to go back!

28 Jan 2010 2:24pm

Louloupix from NEW YORK, United States

Very nice picture, gorgeous view.

28 Jan 2010 4:56pm

Julie from Easton, United States

Love the colors. Very nice composition!

28 Jan 2010 7:22pm

Jaap from Friesland, Netherlands

Great image, nice colors.

28 Jan 2010 9:01pm

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Beautiful image, with a super foreground, and i like the red tones.

28 Jan 2010 10:41pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

It sounds like you were pointed in the direction everyone gets pointed yet you discovered this point [using that word a lot] on your own like a true explorer. That makes your vision in a way unique. Besides, I bet you took the best photo out of them all !

28 Jan 2010 10:56pm

Paul from summerside, Canada

Beautiful capture

29 Jan 2010 12:44am

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Stunning. Incredible colors.

29 Jan 2010 12:52am

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

Incredible colors in that sky.....love it Tracy!

29 Jan 2010 1:01am

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

Sorry Gary...for calling you Tracy ;)

29 Jan 2010 1:03am

@Sandy Weston: I've been called worse. :)

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

the curse of famous places - trying to get something unique requires a unique vision and i think that you have shown that you have it right here! excellent composition and great use of light - the colours are amazing!

29 Jan 2010 1:12am

Gary Hart from California, United States

Thanks for your comments everybody--I'm in Death Valley leading a workshop and am able to respond even less than usual.

29 Jan 2010 4:54am