DESERT VIEW AT NIGHT - 6 December 2014
Desert View at Night - Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, File #1424320
Link to larger version: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/Arizona/i-6xRjNHx/A
This trip to the Grand Canyon was surprisingly successful. I can't say I was successful because of my skill and cunning as a photographer. I was rusty. I hadn't shot for a couple of months and could definitely tell when trying to figure out my compositions and the inner workings of my camera. Fortunately, Mother Nature was there to rescue me by providing circumstances anyone could be successful, even a caveman like myself. As long as I was slightly persistent I couldn't go wrong. That was the case with this image.
I got traveling late from the main area of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon out to Desert View--about a 26 mile drive. By the time I arrived, the good light was just ending. Which meant, I barely got any images. No only that, I hadn't scouted a good place to shoot from. I totally winged it. I ran out to the rim, looked around for about 30 seconds and settle on the very spot I remained for the next couple of hours. I was totally lucky.
While I missed the "good light" of the magic hour, I kept with the composition hoping something would happen when the stars would finally appear well after sunset. Sure enough, something did happen. In fact, it was a lot better than I could've imagined.
You see, not long after sunset when the last vestiges of "good light" was fading away, another photographer planted himself just there in the middle of the trees to the right. Essentially, I couldn't take an image without him in my composition. The worse thing was I didn't get so much as a friendly wave before he set himself up for his own shooting right there in my way. I shot a couple of images and promptly deleted them. I didn't want people in my composition, certainly not this guy. I just wanted this lookout tower overlooking the Colorado River. Fortunately for me, after all the color had faded, my interloper left the scene leaving me the whole place. This is fantastic because about 45 minutes after sunset, the stars came out, the clouds got interesting, and I started to really get serious about shooting.
This particular image was shot about an hour after sunset. The lookout tower is bright because the moon is half illuminated off the frame to the right, lighting up everything you see here. Any more moon light would've ruined the stars. Less light wouldn't have illuminated the tower or the Grand Canyon to the left. I couldn't have planned for better circumstances.
Even though I missed the more traditional shots around sunset--due to my own buffoonery and that other shooter--things turned out quite nicely for me. I guess patience pays off.