The Grand Canyon – Best of the West, Day 2

By Susan Snyder

This is day two of a series of six blogs about the AHPS workshop, “Best of the West”. Watch for day two on November 3rd.

The next stop on this Best of the West adventure is the Grand Canyon. As you travel with your photographer companions on a highway headed north to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, you wonder – will the canyon live up to its name? Is it worth the hype? Having never seen it in person, you think you know what to expect when you arrive at the Grand Canyon. You have seen dozens and dozens of videos, pictures and postcards that show you every angle of this amazing geological structure. However, what you have seen before does not touch the reality of the gaping chasm at your feet when you finally arrive.

The sheer enormity takes your breath away.

This is another opportunity to capture sunset and, on the morrow, sunrise in this stunning location. Taking the shuttle from one stop to the next you know it is impossible to determine which is the best location for your photos. Each rocky outcropping demands your attention. Do you want to include the river that slowly snakes its way through the canyon? Would that tree make a good frame and allow you to capture scale? Are you going to go with the traditional landscape or try portrait mode? You search out your instructor, LeRoy DeJolie, and he has many great suggestions on what to try. He, of course, demands to see your photos as you take them to ensure you get the best images possible to choose from when your journey is over.

You have set up in your perfect location and notice once again, the clouds are challenging your harmony. The winds have decided to join the photography game too, blowing with gusts that threaten your tripod’s stability. Dust is flying through the canyon and creating a haze. Will it enhance your photo or detract from the quality? You make your adjustments and shoot the incredible landscape before you. You stop as the sun paints the sky, for just a moment, and revel in the splendor of the Grand Canyon.

As you continue your workshop journey, you find yourself nodding off in the van during the long highway hours to your next destination, Page, Arizona.  Dreams of what could be drift through your mind as you doze.  How will these new vistas compare to the ones in your dreams?

Susan Snyder is a Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.