Summer storm, Grand Canyon

Mather Point summer storm.

Mather Point summer storm.

 

The first time I visited the south rim of Grand Canyon, weather was grey and wet. As I checked into a nearby hotel, a summer-storm approached with thunder and lightning. After a quick meal I drove to Mather Point and was totally awestruck by the vastness of this magnificent place. It is true as they say, absolutely nothing can prepare you for Grand Canyon! I walked back and forth between Mather and Yavapai points, searching for a good composition. A light rain in the air blurred out some of the canyon as the storm over north rim faded away. I got a few ok shots, but the conditions were difficult. However, as sunset closed in, a crack in the skies allowed for some direct sunlight in the canyon and a rainbow appeared for a few minutes in the tail-end of the storm. My position wasn’t ideal but I kept running back and forth and photographed frantically. When I came back to the hotel I had over 100 shots, which is very much for me in a little over an hour. When I later started to process them I was somewhat disappointed as most of them were grey and dull, and they have been hidden on one of my hard-drives until now. I sat down and started to process a few of them the other day, and managed to bring forward some of the magic I felt that late june afternoon last year. The image on the top is a composite of several shots, to compensate for the difficult light-conditions and bring forwards the details in my experience.To capture the lightning I used a ND-filter to allow a thirty seconds exposure and increase the chances of getting at least one lightning. However, in this long exposure, the rainbow totally disappeared, so I had to blend 3 images together to make room for the complete experience; One for the sky with the rainbow, one for the canyon and one for the sky with the lightning.

This next image is a single exposure from a slightly different position, allowing a little more foreground. To convey the vastness of Grand Canyon, I included a few people. I don’t know if you can see them, but they are tiny, dots on the mid-portion of the nearby left hand rim. Far below, around 1000m down, you can barely spot a small section of the Colorado River in the lower right corner.

Rainbow, Mather Point.

Rainbow, Mather Point.

 

The last image was captured at Yavapai Point the next morning. I arrived there in pitch darkness an hour before sunrise. I enjoyed the solitude and silence and captured a few images of the starlit canyon. As sunrise closed in, busloads of people arrived, and in a few minutes, thousands of people roamed the brim to see the sunrise. Ten minutes later, I was all by myself again. The world is a strange place.

Sunrise at Yavapai point

 

 

Hope you like my work, feel free to send me a note, visit my online-gallery or follow me on instagram, G+, Facebook or 500px. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

Personal favorites of 2014. Post #3. From The West.

Setting sun at Cape Royal

Setting sun at Cape Royal

 

The western parts of the USA is a landscape photographers dream. Period. From the roaring shores of Big Sur to the breathtaking views of Grand Canyon, this part of the world showcase some of the most beautiful, dramatic and picturesque locations on our planet. California, the Sierras, and Yosemite in particular, is by many considered to be the cradle of landscapephotography. Ansel Adams and other members of group f.64 brought the sheer beauty of this area to the rest of the world and in many ways sparked the environmental movements we see today.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Western USA for one month this summer on a trip that took me to iconic locations like Yosemite and the Sierras, the Pacific coastline, Death Valley, Antelope Canyon and Navajoland, Zion National Park, Joshua tree National Park and of course Grand Canyon. Although I have visited several of these locations before, this trip brought many new images and memories that will stay with me forever. And I will return. Hopefully soon.

The first of my favorites from this trip (top of page) is from the North Rim og Grand Canyon, specifically from Cape Royal. In contrast to the often crowded conditions on the south-rim, I was almost alone here this evening. I had planned this shot for a long time, and was very happy to see the skies clearing just as the sun set.

 

Magic morning, Yosemite

Magic morning, Yosemite

 

Yosemite Valley is known for its amazing beauty. And I must agree. Although I have visited before, I always lose my breath when I drive into the valley and see the 1000 meters tall cliffs with beautiful waterfalls, wonderful forests and the Merced river. This morning I was fortunate to find some morning fog around El Capitan meadow and I walked into the woods below El Capitan with an image like this in mind.

 

Setting Moon, Badwater

Setting moon, Badwater

 

The advantage of visiting Death Valley in summer is the solitude. Although never crowded, I found myself mostly in total solitude when I visited this June. The drawback is of course the temperatures, often reaching close to 50deg C. I have planned my visit to coincide with a full moon, with this particular image in mind. However, the day of the full moon, the light was flat and dull. So the day after, I repeated my 2-3 km walk out on the Badwater saltpans, and this morning the sunrise was beautiful.

 

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Light in Lower Antelope Canyon

 

The Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon just outside Page, Arizona,  has reached iconic status among photographers. From being mostly unknown as late as in the 1980-ies, a photography session there now is a very crowded experience. I found lower Antelope Canyon to be most rewarding photographically, as there are far fewer people here and the rock-formations are just as stunning.

Hope you like my images, I will be back in one of the next day with one last 2014-favorites post.

 

Dag Ole