Life Of A Landscape Photographer

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Sally and I with Joe Bennion, a river guide, artist, and good friend. We had just hiked up from the Colorado River to the reflecting pool in North Canyon.

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Every new day on the river starts with a crew meeting. It's such a pleasure to work with wonderful folks, and our boatman are the best. I'm pretty sure "Sweet" was asked to turn around just as this photo was taken. :D

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One of the hikes we did on our 2017 river trip was to a place known as the "Silver Grotto" in Shinumo Wash. To reach this location, you must swim through not one, but two long pools of water. We float our camera gear in dry bags as we make the swim. The canyon walls are so tall that sunlight rarely makes it to the bottom of the canyon meaning the water is incredibly cold. For this reason, Silver Grotto is also known as "Shiver Grotto."

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Our 2017 group on the last day of our 18-day river trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

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Can you tell how happy I am to be rowing the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon? Behind me is Dave Edwards, a National Geographic published photographer, and Colorado River boatman with hundreds of trips through the canyon to his credit. Dave is also a good friend. He was coaching me on the art of rowing. Photo courtesy Sally Smithies.

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Dave Edwards is pointing the way. Dave once said to me "if I get quiet, it means you're doing o.k." At one point I hadn't heard from Dave in at least an hour, so I turned around to chat with him and found him sleeping in the back of the raft. I guess I did ok for that last hour? Photo courtesy Holly Dean.

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We are approaching Lava Falls Rapid, one of the wildest rapids on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy Joe Bennion.

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It looks like we're getting ready to log some flight time in Lava Falls Rapid. Photo courtesy Joe Bennion.

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Rowing the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon as the cliffs glow in warm light. Photo courtesy Lynda Holman.

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This is the view from the Verkamp's building, the home and studio for the Artist-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park.