Grand Canyon…Special Adventure

When Steve, Scott & JoAnn contacted me about doing a private photographic adventure in the Grand Canyon, I said yes, immediately! First off, they are a top notch group of photographers who are down right fun to be with and second, who can pass up a chance to visit the Grand Canyon! So, here we are living on the edge…of the canyon that is for the next week. This morning we left our rooms and walked, yes, walked around the building and there spread before us was our first shoot. We worked on techniques that we would be using over the course of the week, getting comfortable with the elevation, the lighting, the photographic challenges that were before us. One technique that we worked on was making panoramas. We set up our tripods, leveled them, mounted our cameras with 70-200mm lenses attached and went to work. Later, during our midday break, we stitched the panos and applied the finishing touches. I used NIK Color Effex Pro 3.0 Infrared filter with some sepia thrown in to finish this pano…

There are some wonderful stone buildings scattered along the rim of the Grand Canyon and as I took a break from looking at the expansive landscape, I turned to see great light skimming one of the buildings. I called out that we should all go work the light from another perspective for a bit and off we went. In the end, it was the miniature door that won out in my quest for a cool image. Once again, I used NIK to finish the image. This time, I used the Infrared filter and then dragged the opacity down to about 50% to let some color bleed through. I rather like the contrast of the rock and old wood…

Our afternoon shoot was at the far east end of the park at Desert View where it turns out the Watchtower is undergoing renovation. Not to worry, there were images inside to be made. Up one level from the gift store is the very cool round tower with all the “Pictographs” painted on the walls and ceilings, a dizzying sight as you look up several stories. I attached the fisheye, laid it flat facing upwards and then finished the image running Tonal Contrast twice, Glamour Glow once (with the glow reduced) and once again I used Infrared B&W and lowered the opacity to get this look…

As if that wasn’t a full enough day, we had an early dinner and off we went into the dark recesses of the canyon to work on star trails. We aligned with the North Star, set our cameras on bulb with noise reduction turned on and waited for about ninety minutes. We whiled away the time enjoying a show Scott did on his trip to Africa a few years back. The results are good but, I know we can do better. Watch this week to see where we take our star trails…or maybe, more appropriately, where our star trails take us…

Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 70-200mm VR II, AF 16mm Fisheye, D3S, AF-S 14-24mm (star trails) on Lexar Digital Media.