Tuesday, July 26, 2011
10 Tips For The Grand Canyon
A seasoned pro shares his secrets for getting original shots in one of the most iconic locations in America
As one of the wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon has been photographed for decades. Photographers over many generations have dedicated their entire lives to the canyon. As the subject of such photographic adoration, so many images have been previously recorded that finding something original can feel overwhelming.
That's why the best time to visit is when the weather provides whimsy, nuance and, if you get lucky, drama. For me, there's nothing better than to watch a break in clouds as it prepares to slide across the sun at the horizon and try to figure out which part of the canyon will soon be bathed in a beautiful, golden glow.
And when I say "keep an ear to the weather report," I mean literally. Modern electronic devices can give real-time information regarding weather. In some locations, I can stand on the rim of the canyon and look at real satellite/radar imagery showing cloud movement and know approximately when and where the storm might break, allowing me the best chance to execute conceptually.
Seasonal shooting at the canyon is somewhat limited due to a variety of factors, like elevation. Here are the best of the seasonal locations and times.
• Late May, early June—Wildflowers on the North Rim, specifically skyrockets near the Saddle Mountain Trailhead.
• Early October, the North Rim—Aspen and maple trees along the rim near Point Imperial; maple and aspen trees along Transept Canyon Trail.
• Winter—The North Rim closes around the first snow and remains closed until spring. The South Rim has all the action for winter. After January 1st, the West Rim Drive is open to passenger cars.
This article marks George Stocking's return to Outdoor Photographer after a long hiatus. In the intervening time, he has been honing his craft and taking photographs around the U.S. See more of Stocking's photography at www.georgestocking.com.
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