Learn the details behind this stunning panoramic shot and how to take your best photos while at the Grand Canyon.

Just Before Sunrise at the North Rim

Left half of Grand Canyon panorama taken on the North Rim
Right half of Grand Canyon panorama taken at the North Rim

Time: Before sunrise May 18, 2018

See It: This shot was taken at a viewpoint about a 15-minute hike from the café at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Pro Tips: Often, when you're photographing large canyons, the light just before or as the sun rises (or after it sets) is the most even and colorful. Once the sun rises, light quickly becomes contrasty and the colors can become washed out.

Shot Details: Nikon D810 Tamron 24-70 F2.8 @56mm ISO 320 f2.8 1/200th of a second. It was shot as a panoramic using two images.

I'm Bein' Followed by a Bird Shadow

Bird shadow at Grandview Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in the afternoon

This image was taken from Grandview Point on the South Rim in the middle of the afternoon with a telephoto lens at 135mm. What you see in the foreground is a bird that flew into the frame. It is slightly out of focus because it is so much closer than the canyon. But it acts as a nice element in the composition of the image, giving a hint of life to what otherwise might appear desolate.

Tips for Photographing the Grand Canyon

  1. The North Rim is not open year round. It is generally open May 15- Oct.15, but the exact dates depend on weather conditions. Be sure to check to make sure it's open before you go.
  2. Experiment with focal lengths when photographing the canyon. Your first thought might be to try and get the entire canyon with a wide-angle lens. But experiment with taking multiple images to create panoramic shots or even telephoto details to help give the canyon presence.
  3. Return to the same location at different times of day or in different weather conditions. The same place will not look and feel the same, and your images will convey a different mood.


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