Grand Canyon – Silence After the Storm

Wotan Throne North Rim of Grand Canyon.

Title: Silence After the Storm
Date: August 2014
Location: Cape Royal, North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Filters: 145mm Circular Polarizer
Exposure: 0.8 seconds at f/16, ISO 100

Standing on the rim as a storm clears. A cool mist falls upon me as the warm sun sets on the distant horizon. The silence is interrupted only by the whisper of the wind howling through the cracks and crevices in the land of stone far below.

Team Work – The Thunderbirds Calypso Pass

Thunderbirds perfect Calypso Pass
Title: Team Work – Thunderbirds Calypso Pass
Date: November 2011
Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with Canon EF 2X Extender III
Filters: none
Exposure: 1/1600 second at f/8, ISO 400

In an aerial display featuring precision flying, the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron “The Thunderbirds” demonstrate the team work needed to perform a near perfect ‘Calypso Pass’ at the 2011 Aviation Nation Airshow at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. In this photo they are flying the F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon, also known as the Viper.

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Virgin River Narrows in Zion – Radiant Canyon

The Narrows in Zion

This past June I spent a day hiking up and down the length of the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park in search of  an “ah ha” moment. These are the moments that take your breath away. I was looking for not only a stunning location, but I wanted a contrast of color and light.

The Virgin River twists and winds its way through several miles of  The Narrows. Being deep in this canyon, light may only reach a small section of the canyon at river level after first reflecting off the sandstone walls above. Some locations within the Narrows may not see any light at all. Add in the fact that the light is always changing and it can become difficult to be in the right spot at the right time.

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Zion National Park – Virgin River Narrows Rush of Water

The Narrows, Zion National Park.
I’m back from Zion National Park in Utah where I spent a few days hiking both the Virgin River Narrows and the Subway. The temperature was hovering around 100 degrees, but the cool rushing waters of the Virgin River were refreshing. Here we have the Virgin River as it carves its way through the Narrows.

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Arizona Highways Magazine, July 2014 Cover

Arizona Highways July 2014

The July 2014 issue of Arizona Highways Magazine is out and the cover features one of my photos of Grand Canyon National Park. This is actually my first cover with Arizona Highways Magazine!

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Foreword: Chasing the Light – Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon photo book

Earlier today I announced the release of my first book, Chasing the Light – Grand Canyon, a 192-page hard-cover book with almost 190 color photographs of the Grand Canyon. I’ve been working on this project along with my publisher, Park Partners, for quite some time.

I’m sharing the Foreword in the book with you here to give you an idea of why I created this collection of my photographic works and what this book, and the Grand Canyon, mean to me. You can pre-order the book directly from me at the following link:

“In 1999 I made my first trip to the American Southwest to visit and explore our National Parks. This trip, planned as a 1-week excursion, had stops scheduled in the iconic locations including Grand Canyon National Park. My goal was to “experience” as much of the Southwest as possible in this short time.

After 2 days of driving, my wife and I arrived at the Grand Canyon. The sun was setting and we were running short on time.We quickly checked into our camp site at Mather Campground, and then found our way to the canyon’s rim.

Seven years earlier, I had been living in Colorado working at a high-altitude field research station. I was surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks with fields of wildflowers and streams fed by melting snow. For a young man that had come from a big city in Texas, I was now living in a near-Utopian environment. Nothing could possibly be more beautiful.

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Respect to Ansel Adams – Grand Canyon

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Happy Birthday to Ansel Adams. He would have been 112 years old. I can’t possibly image the world of fine art landscape photography without him and the influence he has had on all of us. Perhaps his greatest gift to all of us was his advocacy for the preservation of wild lands and the creation of our National Parks.

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Hidden Light – Revealing the Grand Canyon

Clouds in the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon is an amazing place. Of course we know it’s big, it’s nearly a mile deep, and we know that the Colorado River cuts a path through the canyon that is 277 miles long. But one of the many things that I love about the canyon is how weather interacts with it. 

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Last Light on Chimney Rock

Sunset at Chimney Rock in Colorado.
I had passed by this location many times on my journeys across the American Southwest. Often it was in the middle of the day when the light is directly overhead and becomes quite flat. On more than a few trips I had planned to be here just before sunset, but the best laid plans often get thrown out the window as we adapt to changing weather conditions or the desire to get home after a long trip.

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Grand Canyon Photography Gear Checklist

Photographing the Grand Canyon

So you’re planning the big, once in a lifetime, trip to the Grand Canyon. You’re probably wondering what camera gear you need to take to get the perfect shot. Equally as important as bringing the right camera gear, is bringing the right personal gear to best cope with the high-desert environment of northern Arizona.

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