May 2, 2015
Our motto of this trip is “It’s not about getting there; it’s about going there.” Well, when the Grand Canyon is on the itinerary we broke the rule and reveled in the getting there. This was the splurge night on our trip; we stayed at the El Tovar hotel on the rim. This would give us the opportunity to see the world wonder in evening light and morning light.
When we first arrived we attended part of a Park Ranger’s talk. As we were listening she pointed out this California Condor soaring above the canyon. After nearing extinction in the 70’s there is now a population of at least 70 in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. These pictures show the condor soaring and resting on an outcropping about 1/8 of the way down the canyon. The bottom left picture is a zoom I took. You can see this bird has been tagged and is tracked.
I found that taking pictures of the Grand Canyon can be challenging; it is so big it’s very difficult to capture the feel of the length, depth, and width of this amazing place. I was using a 24-105mm Minolta lens on my crop sensor Sony ILCA-77M2. I’ll try to use a wide angle lens next time out. I compensated by taking some panoramas. I used a different panorama set up to try to get a wider view. I set the panorama direction to “down” instead of “right” then turned the camera 90˚ like I would for a portrait photo and moved the camera to the right. I learned this trick from Gary Friedman’s book on the A77 but it should work with any camera where you can specify the panorama direction.
I’m not going to write a lot of narrative other than saying these pictures were taken in late afternoon and sunset. I’ll let the picture do the rest of the talking
The horseshoe erosion pattern was common as we looked down in the canyon.
For the next picture I used a panorama direction of “Up” to try to capture the depth of the canyon
We turned around and saw a full moon rising
We turned back to the hotel and set the alarm for 0-dark-thirty so we could get a view during sun rise.