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Behind The Shot: ‘Grand Canyon Light Show’ by Rolf Maeder – Moran Point, Arizona

Long extended exposure of Moran Point overlooking the Grand Canyon in Arizona with multiple lightning strikes over the rim of the valleys in the distance

Grand Canyon Light Show by Rolf Maeder

On August 30th, my friends Scott Stulberg, Holly Kehrt (both wonderful photographers) and I were driving from Sedona to the Grand Canyon to get some sunset shots. After a short time being there, we noticed that we couldn’t get what we wanted because of the very hazy light. So we decided to return to Sedona, shortly checking out some more viewpoints along the way. On the Moran Point we noticed that faraway a lightning storm was building up. That was much more than we expected, so we started setting up our tripods and started to take pictures! This shot was taken at 9pm. The 25-second exposure made it possible to catch all the lightning bolts on the picture with one shot! – Rolf Maeder

From RAW file to final print, Maeder has posted a very thorough breakdown on the post processing techniques behind this image at his blog, which you can find here. Equipment and settings: Nikon D800, AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF lens at 24mm- 25-second exposure at f/8 – ISO 400 – (Uncropped single exposure, shot in RAW, color corrected and detail enhanced in Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro, with no elements added or removed.)

This image is available as a print through request at Maeder’s website here. To see more of his work go to Follow him on Twitter and stay up to date with his work and sign up to his PIC OF THE MONTH newsletter via his Photography Scrapbook blog here. You can find Maeder’s motion work at Vimeo.