The Grand Canyon – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, we took a long weekend and spent it in Flagstaff, Arizona (just a few hours up the road from us) and Grand Canyon National Park (the Grand Canyon). Today’s photos come from the series I took at the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most photographed natural wonders of the world, so what could I possibly do differently to create some interesting captures. What I decided to attempt, was to stick with the natural elements of this natural wonder and present them in a slightly different perspective (not that this hasn’t been done, but my approach hasn’t been presented as frequently). For anyone that hasn’t visited the park, the view is breathtaking and over-whelming at the same time. The colors and shapes are incredible, but the size, depth and scope of what you are looking at boggles the mind. I decided to break it down into captures that focused on highlighting depth. I love creating that sense of depth in a picture, so what more natural thing to do when it’s all but handed to you. Kind of obvious, but the presentation I wanted for each shot was a strong foreground that was decidedly distant from the background.

Grand Canyon 1

Grand Canyon 1

The first shot gives you the idea of what I am talking about. The foreground is on the left side of the frame. I love the building nestled at the top of the lookout point and the people viewing the canyon. Even the clouds have shape, texture and depth.

Grand Canyon 2

Grand Canyon 2

This second capture, zooms in on the same spot for a slightly different perspective. The foreground becomes the prominent feature with the people walking around the lookout point, yet we still have an obvious background that is large and distant in scale.

Grand Canyon 3

Grand Canyon 3

The third photo takes another lookout point that juts out from the rim. In this one, I have a hint of trees from where I am standing as the immediate foreground (I am shooting across a very deep ravine), yet the lookout point stays as the main foreground, with the canyon as the background creating the sense of immense depth to this shot.

Grand Canyon 4

Grand Canyon 4

The fourth shot is of two lookout points. The one in the foreground has the most people walking around, but then you realize the rock strata to the right of that is actually another lookout point further back, which the fifth shot zooms in on.

 

Grand Canyon 5

Grand Canyon 5

In this capture, you see the people on the point and this angle is looking down the canyon, not across it as is evident by the coloring (air is hazier and bluer because of the distance).

Grand Canyon 6

Grand Canyon 6

Lookout points are an easy way to capture the obvious levels of depth, but for my last two, I used a slightly different approach. In the 6th capture, I have two light color rock structures in the foreground and a red colored rock strata in what could be called the background, but behind that is the canyon creating another focal point of depth (three distinct elements of depth).

Grand Canyon 6

Grand Canyon 6

The last photo looks down into the canyon. I framed just one area of erosion that is laced with a trail taking you all the way down to the Colorado River, which can just barely be seen below and right of center. This angle pulls your eye down through the various layers and levels towards the river.

In your opinion, was I able to create a series of pictures that portrayed visual depth, giving you a feel for the shear size of the subject matter in an interesting way? What are your thoughts?

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51 thoughts on “The Grand Canyon – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

  1. Writing to Freedom

    Wonderful photos Kirt that highlight how “Grand” the canyons are. The clouds really add an extra depth and beauty to an already gorgeous setting. Thanks for the reminders of one of my favorite National Parks!

    Reply
  2. purpleslobinrecovery

    Yes!! I don’t know fancy words to discuss photography, and such, but WOW!! You captured the magnificence, and awe of God created perfectly. I’ve never been there, but these take my breath away.

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you very much for the “wow” factor! It truly takes your breath away and definitely humbles your perspective! Thank you very much!!! It is some of God’s finest work!!!

      Reply
  3. Sue Slaght

    Kirt our trip rafting the Grand Canyon remains in the top handful of adventure experience’s. Your photos have done what is so difficlut and that is to give perspective to the

    Reply
      1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

        Thank you very much Sue! When we were flying back from Seattle in June I happened to look out the window as we were flying over it on our way into Phoenix…..even from that far up, it’s breathtaking!

  4. Sisyphus47

    Splendid shots of a wonderful and sacred place, the colours, the skies, hallucinating perspectives… Beautiful work 🙂

    Reply
  5. anotherday2paradise

    I remember spending a night in a motel in Flagstaff about 20 years ago. The train noise was so bad that we couldn’t sleep, so got up at 3am very bleary eyed to go to Grand Canyon. I think we were all too tired to really appreciate it fully. Your photos are stunning, and make me want to go back again, but we’ll look for a hotel with double glazing and further away from the railway line next time. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      We stayed at a comfort inn off the freeway away from the train tracks….we had friends stay in the area you are referring to last year and gave us a heads up. We hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon since our girls were little (they are mid 20’s to early 30’s) to give you an idea how long ago that was……we saw it so differently this go around and want to go back and spend more time there. Our oldest and her husband were with us and she didn’t remember it being so beautiful. This go around we weren’t rushed….no little ones to watch over, etc. Since we now live just a few hours away….would love to spend more time there and my son in law and I want to hike down the canyon! Thanks for stopping by….I encourage another trip there for you😀

      Reply
  6. Janice Wald

    Hi,
    I know Aquileana. I clicked on this headline since I’m fascinated by photography. I have blogged about it several times and have a third blog in the works about photography.
    Thank you for visiting my site Mostly Blogging today. I am glad you liked my guest author’s post about Pinterest and Viral Tag.
    Janice

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Grand Canyon Sketched – Featured Art Prints | thewallgalleryblog

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