Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grand Canyon Dawn

South rim of Grand Canyon at Dawn
Of all the parks on our list to see this vacation I have been to the Grand Canyon most often. I first went after my senior year in high school. And in the '70's had the good fortune to go down the Colorado River on a raft twice. It is far more than a huge hole in the ground. And light changes it dramatically.

Our task this trip was to see it at dawn. My sister had accidentally had the great good fortune to catch it just this last year as the sun paints the canyon, so she knew where to go and set up our tripods and focus our cameras and wait for the sun.

Watching the canyon come alive is so spectacular that it is possible to forget to click the shutter. And other times I wanted three different cameras with tripods aimed in different directions. The only solution to this is plan another trip with multiple dawns to capture.

Current favorite

There are five inner canyons and at this point the river is so far down it cannot be seen. Does not prevent you from looking or even thinking you see it. On the Colorado at the bottom on both raft trips I kept looking for some sign of life at the rim. It is like being swallowed up by the earth. And at night there is only the sounds of the rapids and a zillion stars.

Where most tourists stood

I wish I had the money everyone had spent on camera equipment to capture this event that happens daily. One car parked next to us in the predawn disgorged three huge aluminum cases of equipment. Debbie and I grabbed our tripods and camera backpacks and beat them to the spot they wanted. First come and first serve. Many of the tourists perched on the canyon wall to the left in the above photo. Some ranged along the south rim trail and snapped at will without a tripod. I find myself wondering what they got in focus. And if those with iphones were able to see any details.

I must confess, however, that I found my photos a disappointment. Debbie with her super wide angle telephoto lens got some awesome ones. Next trip I am at least going to rent such a lens. I have left my photos of the canyon to near the end of my post processing frenzy because of my disappointment. But as I found out in college - darkroom can make a huge difference.

And I want to make use of my polarizing filter next trip. It proved to be such a great help in dealing with the desert light later in our trip.

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