Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Grand Canyon and Storm Clouds

I spent last weekend  at the Grand Canyon.  One of the primary questions in my head when I packed my camera and tripod: how do I capture one of the most photographed wonders of the world in a slightly different way in 36 hours, without a car to go to the more deserted overlooks and trails?  I know some photographers spend years hiking around this geologic wonder, and they really only come up with a few really good shots.   I woke up before sunrise both mornings to get the early alpenglow and post-sunrise warm lighting, but the lines of photographers at the overlooks made me even more determined to capture a different perspective of the Canyon.  Instead of a single shot, I decided I wanted a panorama to enable to viewer to see more of the huge scene.  Also, instead of the focus of the photo being the Canyon, I wanted the Canyon to act as a backdrop for something more dramatic.  Fortunately, here in the Southwest it’s monsoon season, which means afternoon storm clouds (I’m sure you’re sick of reading about this subject if you’ve been following my blog).  As I hiked along the South Rim, one small cumulus cloud quickly built into a giant storm cloud with multiple smaller clouds growing on its flanks.  I tried capturing the scene with a two-row stacked panorama and a polarizing filter to help the clouds contrast with the darkened sky.  I hope you find the panorama more interesting than the typical Grand Canyon Sunrise shot (which I’ll post soon!).

Storm Clouds and Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (26″x46″)

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4 responses

  1. I love clouds. It’s kind of amusing to think that the star of a photo involving the Grand Canyon could be the clouds, but you did it! Very cool.

    December 3, 2012 at 09:13

    • You hit the nail on the head- that’s what I was going for. Thanks for the comment!

      December 23, 2012 at 10:18

  2. This is a *superb* B&W image – it would make a fantastic large high resolution print on aluminium. I love the uniqueness of the shot, as you say it’s challenging to find a ‘new angle’ on such a commonly photographed landmark but you have done this and done it very well!

    August 13, 2014 at 08:55

    • Thanks for the comment! I haven’t tried printing this panorama on aluminum yet, but I did print it on photo paper (and it’s framed and hanging on the wall).

      August 14, 2014 at 08:03

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