On the Road to Lees Ferry

July 30, 2019  |  Lees Ferry, Arizona

I visit the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park several times every year, and when I make the 4-hour return trip home to Flagstaff, I almost always make a side-trip to Lees Ferry to spend time near the Vermilion Cliffs and Colorado River.

A monsoon thunderstorm forms over the Vermilion Cliffs and Cathedral Rock on the road to Lees Ferry in northern Arizona. Photo...
Monsoon Eruption Over the Vermilion Cliffs
Marble Canyon, Arizona

On my most recent trip home, the temperature was hot, as in over 100 degrees hot, but the sky was alive with monsoon thunderstorms and I yet again had to divert from course and stop at Lees Ferry.

This is the scene that greets you after you stop at the pay station. I couldn't help but park right there and setup my camera right in the middle of the road so that I could capture this magnificent storm cloud building over the Vermilion Cliffs and Cathedral Rock. Like a bunch of school kids playing baseball in the streets, I had my wife, Sally, calling out "car" every time a vehicle approached.

For this photo I used a Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera body and their fantastic GF 23mm f/4 lens. This lens affords a wide-angle view, similar to an 18mm lens on a 35mm camera body, allowing me to place emphasis on the lines on the road leading away into the distance. And even-though this scene was photographed under mid-day light and I had a relatively fast shutter speed, I still elected to shoot with a tripod so that I could be very deliberate with my composition.