This probably is the best photo from my recent visit to the US. I probably have mentioned this before, but let me say it again; The Grand Canyon was always at the top of my bucket list and the opportunity to cross it off the list was something truly wonderful. I had known about it ever since I was a kid, and loved just about everything about it from how it was formed to how old it is to how truly spectacular it is. In short, I know a lot about it and I knew what to expect. Yet, the first time I stood there at the edge of the South Rim taking in the marvelous sight in front of me, I was speechless.
That was the first day, of which the night I and Looney spent in the Yavapai Lodge inside the National Park. The next morning we gathered our stuff and headed to the Bright Angel Trek and started descending to the canyon hoping to go as far as the time would allow us: we were to return to the Bright Angel Lodge around 3 PM. Since it had snowed a few days ago the trek was extremely slippery, and we didn’t have appropriate gear, so the descent was a slow going. Yet it was fantastic – we both love hiking – and less than 30 minutes into the trek you are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Everything you see all around you is the canyon, and it’s a sight that’s truly worth remembering. About two hours into the trek we had to turn back, and before heading back I set the tripod (oh yes, I did indeed carry the damn things despite it’s weight) and shot a few snaps of which this turned out to be the best. I love the way it captures the serene beauty of faraway canyon, the rugged terrain of nearby rocks and the lovely pale sky that accommodates all that into one.
Technical details, this is again 3 bracketed shots (it’s a pity the D600 only allows you 3 shots) at EV0 +/- 2, merged in Photomatix 5. As I’ve been doing recently, again I produced 3 separate outputs from Photomatix, one concentrated on the faraway canyon, another on close-by land and the final on sky. I feel this gives much better results that trying to incorporate everything into one Photomatix output. Afterwards I brushed up a bit in Nix before cleaning everything up in Noiseware. Overall, I feel this is a pretty decent job, a photo that I truly love.
Ever since I was a kid I was always fascinated how amazingly and beautiful our planet is. And the more I learned about these places – both human made and natural – the more I wanted to see them. But like many other children’s fantasies, I never really thought I’d actually get to see them with my own eyes; that seemed beyond my reach at the time.
However, I think I have been immensely lucky in that since those early days I have come a long way and actually could travel and see some of my dream destinations including Rome and Venice, I’ve walked on the Great Wall of China and climbed Mount Fuji in Japan. And this time around, when I traveled to the USA, naturally the Grand Canyon was at the top of my bucket list. This was a place I’ve come to love just by the pictures I’ve seen.
I was staying in Las Vegas and booked an overnight stay trip to the South Rim, and when we got there luckily the weather was fantastic. We got out of the bus, and heading to the view point I knew what to expect, hell I have seen all sorts of photos, I knew it was going to be pretty damn awesome. But… none of that could have prepared me for the sight that actually greeted me; however many photos you’ve seen or articles read, you’ve got to see it with your own eyes, and you’ve got to take it all in. I was truly speechless for a couple of minutes. The Grand Canyon was, simply… grand!