First and Last Man Standing

Hopi Point Sunset, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Hopi Point Sunset, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you probably know that I’m scared of heights. So while the Grand Canyon is one of the amazing places on this planet, I’ve never really been able to enjoy it in the past because I never enjoyed looking over into the canyon. Whatever mental hurdles I previously had were erased this time however. Perhaps the third time’s the charm or perhaps I was really determined to photograph the South Rim, but whatever it was, I had a great time at the Grand Canyon.

We picked Hopi Point for sunset because it was one of the places on the South Rim where you could see the Colorado River down at the bottom. It is interesting to observe tourism patterns at places such as the Grand Canyon. We got to Hopi Point about 1.5 hours before sunset so we could pick our spot, as there were just a few photographers milling about at the time. Within 30 minutes of sunset, it got really crowded. Then as soon as the sun dipped below the horizon, the viewpoint totally cleared out and I pretty much had the whole place to myself. The craziest part happened about ten minutes before sunset as a tour group leader began running around demanding that his group pack it in and go back to the bus so they “could be on schedule”. Hopefully dinner was really good!

Experienced landscape photographers know that you never leave before all the usable light is gone because some of the best colors usually happen after the sun has dipped below the horizon. The hot shower and Denny’s can wait.

5 thoughts

  1. Thanks guys. I learned this same lesson during my first visit to Arizona ironically. I had just left Red Rocks Crossing in Sedona thinking the clouds were socked in. Only to see one of the most amazing displays of alpenglow I’ve ever seen start unfolding as I was on the road out so I tried to make the most of it though that moment has never escaped me.

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