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The Grand Canyon

Above, Below and Through

Earlier this year I was fortunate to be able to spend 8 days whitewater rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Previous visits have taken me to the North Rim and on this trip I was able to explore just about all of the overlooks on the South Rim. As well, we took a sightseeing flight over the Canyon which completed the Gestalt.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and Canon 17~35mm f/2.8l lens at ISO 100. RAW Mode.

The Grand Canyon is an ever-changing panorama. Light and weather are the two big determinants of how successful your photographs might be.

In early December, 2000 the weather was clear and cool and so we had to reply on the character-full light of sunset and sunrise.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and Canon 17~35mm f/2.8l lens at ISO 100. RAW Mode.

National Parks in the U.S. are becoming more crowded each year. At the Grand Canyon, as it many others, private cars are increasingly being replaced by shuttle buses.

One of the advantages of visiting the Southwestern Parks in winter is that once again you can use your car. This is of particular advantage to photographers since schlepping camera bags and tripods on shuttle busses tends to cramp ones style and makes reaching certain locations before sunrise virtually impossible.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and Canon 17~35mm f/2.8l lens at ISO 100. RAW Mode.

Shooting the Grand Canyon from a sightseeing flight ($75) didn't produce any great art, nor did I expect it to, but it was the final leg of my above, below and through adventure. We chose Grand Canyon Airlines for several reasons. They use a specially modified Twin Otter aircraft ‹ a real workhorse and a highly reliable plane (Canadian designed, of course). It was equipped with large, flat, tint-less windows which were well suited for photography. They also have two pilots onboard, a real safety plus.

It's vital that you use a polarizing filter to cut through the haze and that you don't use too long a focal length as longer lenses will likely lead to blurred shots due to vibration and motion.

This shot provides an unusual perspective where the depth of the Inner Gorge can be seen and the context for the river starts to make some sense. When one is rafting the river it's rare to see the upper rim since much of the time it is obscured by the rim wall of the Inner Gorge.


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Concepts: Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Arizona, Colorado Plateau, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Rafting, Colca Canyon

Entities: Canon, rim, U.S., Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Michael Reichmann, Twin Otter, North Rim

Tags: Grand Canyon, Canon EOS D30, RAW Mode, Inner Gorge, Grand Canyon Airlines, Twin Otter aircraft, North Rim, South Rim, ever-changing panorama, Previous visits, upper rim, big determinants, rim wall, shuttle busses, shuttle buses, character-full light, Southwestern Parks, Colorado River, unusual perspective, National Parks, polarizing filter, particular advantage, longer lenses, private cars, final leg, ones style, certain locations, focal length, real workhorse, camera bags, reliable plane, tint-less windows, great art, real safety, sightseeing, sunrise, rafting, flight, weather, cramp