Landscape Photography | Grand Canyon National Park and Nearby Area
Back in June 2012, my parents and I went on a week long vacation to visit South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, and additional areas around them. These photos are of leg one of the trip at the South Rim of Grand Canyon.
Now, this is my fourth visit, second during the summer, to the Grand Canyon. It is always a beautiful place to visit, but this was the first time I have camped at the park and stayed for more than a single day. The first night was Mother’s Day… so evening one was enjoying a great dinner with my family and walking along the edge taking a few handheld shoots. The second night was the amazing sunset night at the Desert View Watchtower.
The watchtower is one of the most amazing architectural structures to photograph. There are very few building that have such amazing views from the edge of the largest canyon. This location is my favorite along the south rim to photograph sunsets because of the lighting, the subject and not as busy along the west tram area.
I also went out to photograph the sunrise, finding nothing up to what I liked, but I ran across this female elk. Now this is the first heart-racing experience I have had photographing. I stood my ground never coming closer to her as she continued to eat the trees and bushes nearby. Slowly, she came closer and closer, starting about ~150ft away and got to about ~75ft over 25mins.
These photo above was the second to last photo before she wasn’t having it anymore. The first time that she turned and looked straight at me and then stomped the ground. In my head… uh-oh, but I still had some fencing between I and her with newly planted trees. I was already wearing my photo bag, but I grab my fully-extended tripod standing next to me. She then body lunged, but didn’t take a step… so I lift my tripod in front of me and was going to use it to protect. Then she lunged with a few quick steps and that when I started to run to hide behind a larger object to put something between us… but by then, she was done and I went on my way.
The Chapel of the Holy Dove was a great roadside attraction along the Highway 180 towards Flagstaff, AZ in the San Francisco Mountains. It is a free-to-use chapel for anyone use, even a paper signup sheet for scheduling weddings. I love that there was nothing nearby, free to walk in and around and made the trip to Flagstaff more interesting then the rest of the trip… maybe there was some downtown areas in Flagstaff to photograph, but not until another trip there.
Lastly, this was the first time that I had taken the trams on the west area of Grand Canyon Village. The first time I had seen the Powell Monument, the dedication location where the Grand Canyon was given it National Monument status and dedicated to the first person to ascend the river the first two times, Major John Wesley Powell. The trip was well worth the packed trams to visit this part of the park. The sunsets there were not so great though, packed location with not great lighting for a sunset.
More will coming in the next few days of photos from Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park…