Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grand Canyon Mornings

After spending four days at Zion we moved around to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  The rains and flash flood conditions were long gone and the clouds went with them.  We spent a couple of nights at the south rim and pretty much had severe clear skies the entire time.

Clear sky is the bane of the landscape photographer.  Still, I was at the Grand Canyon and so I still went out every morning to see what I might find.  There was always hope I might get a stray cloud of the Belt of Venus would glow in the predawn light.

I spent both mornings at points east of the main village.  First I like the views better.  Second, you can drive to them and not have to take the bus.

Lipan Point, Navajo Point, and Desert View are probably my favorite three locations.  They have great views that include the river at all three.  They all also make a good view looking north as well as west, which I thought would make for better possible images with clear sky.

One of the things you notice about the Grand Canyon is incredible range in light as well as color temperature.  The depths of the canyon will be much darker and cooler than the rim and the sky at sunrise and sunset.  You should plan on a ND Grad or bracket images accordingly to give you the extra latitude for post processing.

One of the best images I got those mornings was actually of first light with my phone.  I have written in this blog before how great the camera is in the LG G3 and it got me some great shots here at the Grand Canyon.  The HDR feature alone makes me almost not miss RAW files like my DSLR has. Add in the great panorama feature and I can get some great images quick.  Several times I was able to take a shot and then do a few quick edits in Snapseed which gave me a pretty good idea of what might be possible once back home.  That got me to then using those ideas with the DSLR too.

So over the two mornings I got a couple of images.  Nothing overly dramatic and no great light, but a few decent images to have.  Even one where I was out early enough to catch the fading Milky Way over the canyon.


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