It’s a bit of a paradox for me – it’s hard to make a bad picture of the Grand Canyon. But yet, it’s hard to make a really good picture of the Grand Canyon. Not because it is one of the most photographed places on Earth and has been done a bazillion times and a bazillion ways, but because it is so darned BIG!
Of course it is impossible to imagine what something like the Grand Canyon will look like in person. I’ve been to Niagara Falls, and it is big. I’ve been to Alaska, and places like Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Denali? Indescribable. But the Grand Canyon? I’ve seen it from the air and didn’t realize what it was, because it is so vast. And down on the ground where you can only see a small part of it, while that part was so big, well. Words fail me although it doesn’t stop me trying. 🙂
We originally weren’t planning to stop at the Grand Canyon, figuring it would be overrun with people, with no place to park, overlooks and shuttle buses crowded with people. But no. We arranged our schedule to get there on a Monday in early May, which turned out to be a great choice. We got a good place to park, never had to wait for the next shuttle, had very few people at the overlooks, and relatively light crowds in the Grand Canyon Village. We even got a reservation for lunch at the El Tovar Hotel and a table with a canyon view. Sweet!
We only had a day, so we made the most of it. We didn’t try to get there for sunrise or stay until sunset, partly because I knew that early and late in the day, when the canyon is all in shadow, is generally not the best time to photograph it. The middle parts of the day provide good, even lighting, while the hours before and after can provide some dramatic shadows. It’s also important (I think) to have some nice clouds to provide an interesting sky. We sort of lucked out on all those counts.
It was a good day and we were both very glad to have made the effort. There are a lot more parks that we want to see, and once we finish up our 50 states project, getting to those parks is going to be one of our priorities. The list is long! 🙂
As I’ve been doing, for those who are interested or just bored 😉 I’ve added a Grand Canyon gallery to my Adobe Portfolio site.