Taking Photos in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Photo Guide sponsored by Tamron

Today’s lightweight D-SLR cameras and lenses have the versatility to capture everything on your journey, including night scenes, beautiful wide-angle scenics and close-ups. Whether you’re shooting a scenic Grand Canyon landscape, photographing rafters on the Colorado River, or capturing the intense colors of a sunset, Tamron lenses do almost every possible kind of subject beautifully.


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Photography Tips from Tamron

1. Best time to shoot

Pre-dawn, mid-morning and late evening until after dark, in any season is the premier time to take photographs while in Grand Canyon National Park.

2. The rule of thirds…

This basic principle of composition is a guideline for framing a photograph by breaking the scene in your viewfinder or LCD screen into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Imagine a rectangle-shaped window pane with nine equal panels that are created by four intersecting lines. Research has shown that a photograph is more pleasing to the eye if the subject or focal point is located where the lines intersect rather than in the exact center of the frame.

3. What lens to use

You do not need a big lens; 300 MM and below are enough unless you are shooting the dangerous animals. For dangerous wild animals in Grand Canyon, it’s recommended you use a larger lens and shoot from the safety of your vehicle.

4. For landscape photos…

Use a focal length setting of 10mm up to 300mm on your wideangle, telephoto or all-in-one zoom lens and put the subject in the landscape…to capture the sense of place with the animal or subject in its environment.

5. Optimal summer conditions in Grand Canyon

In June and July, optimal photography conditions in the Grand Canyon would be a blue sky with some clouds in it. If you’re out early, when the light comes out, it creates the magenta sky with red and orange clouds.

6. Be patient

When shooting photographs in the outdoors and in a natural wonderland like the Grand Canyon, patience is a must. It’s a waiting game.

7. Pay attention to the lighting

Contrary to popular belief, do not shoot with the sun directly at your back. Doing so will make the light on the subject flat. Move so the light is at an angle and you’ll get more texturing and shadows and a result, a much more interesting photo. Most great photos are either side-lit or have the light coming in from a different angle.

8. Make photography a passion before you choose to make it a career

You have to shoot a lot of photos to really learn how to take great photos. It is an art form.

9. When to Use a Tripod

Photographers with tripods poised on the rim of Grand Canyon is a common sight, especially at sunrise and sunset. But when is a tripod really necessary? Anytime you are shooting landscapes in low light, a tripod can ensure proper exposure and crisp images. For optimal results from your equipment, set your digital camera at a low ISO and a mid-range aperture of f/8 or f/11; then adjust your exposure time accordingly.

10. Protecting Your Equipment

Grit: There is loads of it in Grand Canyon. Have a lens cleaning brush and cloth handy, and use them often. Also, use the sensor cleaning mechanism on the camera body if you are swapping out lenses on the trail. Avoid shooting when sand is blowing. Carry camera body and lenses in a padded chest pouch that attaches to pack shoulder straps or in a specialized camera backpack.

Water: On river trips, keep gear in padded camera pouches that are stored in waterproof dry bags or in watertight hardshell plastic cases with padded interiors. Both methods will likely keep gear dry if the boat flips over; the added benefit to the plastic cases is that they will also protect against hard knocks on rocks.

Great Tamron gear for great Grand Canyon photos!

photo guide

SP 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro

Tamron’s award-winning All-In-One™ zoom lenses are favored by photo enthusiasts and seasoned travelers worldwide for their lightweight design, one-lens versatility and high image quality. The 16-300mm is the world’s first 18.8X zoom featuring cutting-edge technology like image stabilization, fast autofocus system and macro focusing capability. It delivers remarkably high image quality with its new optical system, while maintaining the compactness for which Tamron is known. Moisture-resistant construction puts your mind at ease when shooting in inclement weather like light rain, snow or humid conditions. Bottom line: Tamron’s all-in-one zooms lets you capture people, places and things with lightweight ease. Designed for your Canon, Nikon or Sony small-sensor digital SLR camera. No matter where your travels take you, go with just one lens, for every travel moment.

Tamron Ultra Telephone Zoom 150-600 Lens

SP 150-600mm Di VC USD

Tamron’s SP 150-600mm Di VC USD (for Canon, Nikon and Sony Full-Frame and APS-C DSLR cameras) all new ultra tele zoom enhances the creative potential of telephoto photography. With advanced optical technology, new eBand coating, USD autofocusing and Vibration Compensation, Tamron’s stylish new ultra tele zoom delivers vibrant images with astounding clarity and definition. Its 4X ultra-telephoto focal length range is a captivating feature for all photographers, particularly nature, wildlife, and sports shooters. And its compact design and perfect balance provides excellent portability for outdoor shooting.

tamron photo guide

SP 10-24mm Di II

Landscapes, streetscapes, architecture and confining interiors come to life beautifully with the true, striking wide-angle perspective provided with this ultra wideangle zoom. Images exhibit negligible distortion in normal use, but—if the photographer chooses—spectacular effects can be introduced by disregarding the camera’s relationship to level. Professional Photographer Hot One Winner 2009. Designed for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony smaller sensor DSLR cameras.