Photographing sunrise at the Grand Canyon can be a challenging affair, and it takes many elements coming together to create a successfully image. I like to start with a location that allows me to have overlapping features in the landscape and a foreground that can catch some golden light. Next, having some clouds definitely helps, but we still need a gap on the horizon to let some light through. Lastly, some moisture in the air in the form of humidity helps as it scatters the light and softens the scene. While northern Arizona is typically a dry environment with regards to humidity, the summer monsoon brings afternoon thunderstorms that can help increase the humidity in the air. It's the humidity that adds a sense of "atmosphere" in the canyon and helps to soften the light and provide a sense of depth through the scene.
The March 2015 issue of of Arizona Highways magazine is on the shelves and on page 9 is an interview I did about my obsession with the Grand Canyon. The article also includes my photo of lightning striking the Grand Canyon as rain is falling into the canyon at sunset. This photo was captured in August 2011 from Cape Royal on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
Thank you to the staff at Arizona Highways for interviewing me and publishing one of my most popular photos!
Today, February 26th, Grand Canyon National Park celebrates the anniversary of its designation as a national park. So...Happy Birthday to Grand Canyon National Park, and thank you to everyone that has been a part of protecting and preserving this wonderful place!
Located far downstream of the tiny town of Mexican Hat, Utah, on the San Juan River is Slickhorn Canyon. Located almost in the middle-of-nowhere, and not far from where the San Juan flows into Lake Powell, Slickhorn is only accessible via a very long backpacking trip, or by rafting the San Juan. I arrived at Slickhorn via raft 3 days after leaving the boat-launch at Mexican Hat. There are no roads, and only one foot trail along this stretch of the river. The journey is slow, a peaceful float under the towering cliffs of the lower San Juan River canyon. This is wilderness.
Today, February 12th, would have been Thomas Moran's birthday. Moran was an American painter and printmaker of the Hudson River School in New York. Moran said of the Grand Canyon "Of all places on earth the great canyon of Arizona is the most inspiring in its pictorial possibilities."
In honor of Moran and his work I thought I would share my favorite photo from Moran Point on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
The January 2015 issue of Arizona Highways magazine has my photo of Wotans Throne shedding a blanket of clouds in the moments leading up to sunset. You can find the photo on pages 6 & 7. This photo was captured in August 2014 from Cape Royal on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
I spend on average around 70 days a year in Grand Canyon National Park. Some of this time is leading photography workshops and the rest is dedicated to experiencing and photographing special moments. This will remain a very special moment as it was the day before a workshop, and having anticipated these conditions I invited my workshop participants to shoot with me even though the workshop had not yet begun. It was really a pleasure to have the opportunity to capture this scene and feel the positive energy everyone was experiencing as this scene was revealed to us.
The Colorado River has been and is a major force when it comes to shaping the Grand Canyon, and yet the river is only visible from a few select points along the rim of the canyon. Still hard at work, the river has dug a deep channel and is often obscured from view by the many ridges, buttes, temples, and thrones that rise from the depths of the canyon. Seen here from the South Rim of the park, the river appears to be chasing the light of the setting sun, which is just moments will disappear below the distant horizon.
Standing on the edge of the Horseshoe Bend overlook 1000 feet above the Colorado River is a rush. The river, meandering below, reflects the deep blues of the sky above as the first rays of the morning sun paint the distant canyon wall in hues of gold and red. At my feet are the first signs of autumn.
This past August, my wife Sally and I had the privilege of photographing a very special event.
Just down the street from us here in Flagstaff, Arizona, is an 8-year old boy named A.J., who has spinal muscular atrophy. Being like many other young boys, A.J. likes to get out and explore, but being confined to a motorized wheelchair, there was one place he couldn't explore...up in the trees. Thanks to a doctor's recommendation, A.J. was made a candidate for Make-A-Wish, an organization known for granting wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions.