I am not a religious man. I believe in science. I must admit to also becoming a believer in karma despite or perhaps because of the occasional boomerang effect of overdosing. Also; I am a believer in magic. Magic is real albeit sometimes only for a few seconds and only for me. Grand Canyon offered a moment of pure magic daring me to capture it in time.
Patience, Young Jedi
The day started bad and got worse. Feeling headachy and fatigued I approached the Grand Canyon. The weather was ever threatening culminating in a fierce snow storm exactly as I walked up to Mather Point. I could do little but wait out the storm in a cafeteria in the Grand Canyon Village. I considered the Thelma & Louise option of flying my car over the edge. The cafeteria won and I read books for three hours while the snow storm raged, doing little for my mood. A large group of trekkers sit a few tables away chatting and laughing. I hate them. In hindsight this is tragicomical but that is how my bipolar mind works and everything is very magnified on month five of my nomadic journey. Possessing little patience, my task is to be patient and wait for the snow to ease allowing me to capture the most magical of all light; storm going and sun coming.
Racing to Mather Point as the snow stops I walk to another point 500 meters to my right. No fences here, I stand right on the edge of a canyon so grand so breathtaking it is larger than any words. The Earth has simply been split right open to the core. The wind is so violent it is threatening to make me airborne. I find my spot and sit down for better protection. Without warning, Mother Nature offers magic just as I am ready to shot. I get in one shot and create the image Awe:
Awe, The Image
One shot. I frantically scrambled to get a shot in, one shot was all I got and it was enough. ‘Awe’ is a cropped single Canon 5D Mk II image with the 17 mm wide angle. I shot several stitched panoramas after this one single shot but the light and magic was long gone leaving the panoramas useless. One shot and I captured ‘Awe’. Darn lucky this one shot is pin sharp. I have done little to this file, just levels, contrast and saturation. Mother Nature hit bullseye on this day inspiring nothing short of awe and turning my day upside down. Awe and Magic.
P.S. The clouds cleared, the sun came back, I got a room at Bright Angel Lodge and captured a cold yet cosy sunset stitched panorama which you can view here – Grand Canyon Sunset. Ended up being a rather ok day perhaps due to a bit of Karma or good will of the universe.
Great story and image, Flemming. Your patience paid off.
Love the new blog and the new site. Keep up the good work.
Thanks very much Beau. Very happy you like the site and blog, you do great work yourself. Cheers!
You would think I would learn patience but it just seems to get worse!
Good stuff Flembot. Patience has worked well, it's a grand image, as is the sunset pano. 🙂
If I was in the same position i'd probably be out in the snowstorm, out of excitement and enthusiasm, and as a result get so cold that i'd have to go inside and it'd end up that i'd miss the good light that followed haha.
Cheers Stephen. Patience is one of the things I am really bad it. And one of the things that is most needed in Landscape photography. It's a wonder I get any shots at all! I hate snow, I have seen enough to last a lifetime, it is not magical to me at all I must admit.
This is a seriously sweet photo. The colours, detail and composition are just amazing.
Thank you Jamie. It is one of those unique shots, one in a million, like blowing up the death star!
It's a sweet shot. I also like the sunset pano; pano's make so much sense for the Grand Canyon.
Thank you Zane! Indeed pano's are made for Grand Canyon, the only way to capture just a little bit of the wide massive scale.
The Grand Canyon is awe-inspiring on its own, but only those that are lucky enough to see it bathed in a beautiful light have seen it at its best. Most people never get to see it and others go back many times for years before they get to see that light. You waited and it came to you. You were blessed that day.
Hi Scott. Thanks very much and as you witnessed at Death Valley I just seemed to be blessed with special light wherever I went in the Southwest. Quite lucky!
Very COOL image here flem ! It's one of those ones that you really want to see LARGE in order to take in all those details as you 'walk' in to it… Though in this case you might just walk off a 1000m drop. lol
Cheers mate, yeah I just sold a 80cm wide print of this and it makes it come alive. Walk right into the details, over the edge heh.
Great shot. it really draws you in…
Thanks Peta, thanks for visiting my blog as well!
Hey Bomont…very cool image mate and a great story to boot! When i took my family up there in Winter it was my daughter's first experience with snow and she made the classic comment…."Daddy…I never knew snow was so cold"!
Likin the new blog and website mate!
Cheers Markie Mark! Much appreciated, glad you like it.
Snow being cold, heh, good one!
I've been to the Grand Canyon, long time ago, on a similarly frustrating day (was raining nonstop). There was a moment where the rain paused, clouds parted just a fraction to let this glow of sunlight through. I was running along the edge looking for a not-so-fenced spot and found it right at that moment. It was heart stopping. At that point too I truly understood the meaning of the word "awe." Nothing has done it to me to that degree since.
A few seconds later, clouds closed up and I got drenched. But it was all good.
That is a stunning image. I'd love it on an entire wall, just to remind me of the experience a teeny bit everyday.
Your description is pure perfection Charlene, much better than mine. It is a little similar to Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters. You saw the UFO, your heart stopped, it defined the word Awe and you try and tell everyone else about it but no one else saw or experienced it. I think that's the flipside of magic, it is hard to share. But fortunately, sometimes we get a photo of it!
And thanks, glad you like the shot, it would be perfect at 3-4 meters although being a single file I wouldn't print much bigger than about 2 meters wide, still a good size.
Great story, fantastic image, coming together to make magic
Thanks very much my friend.
I don't know what's more brilliant Bo. The image or the story? You are indeed a great story teller! And a fine photographer too!
Thanks so much David, very much appreciated! If I could make a living shooting my images and telling my stories that would be sweet. I love blogging, and after a little down time for the blog I have decided to put the pedal to the metal again, engage hyperdrive and blog and write as much as I can at loud volume! Warp speed Flemming.
lovely shot mate!
I love the sunset shot too! Love the way there are peaks in bright light that really pop out!
Im still waiting for some good light over here in perth!
I get genuinely frustrated with bad light but because im not capturing the light I want it gets me more motivated than ever to shoot till I capture it! 🙂
Thanks Dylan! Yeah the sunset shot is quite alright as well, not as special as Awe in my opinion though. Thanks though! 🙂
I get incredibly frustrated with bad light or anything that means I can't shoot. Fortunately the way I travel now as a nomad often means I can always come back the next day. Like you, I want to nail that shot!
It is such a wonderful photo of the Grand Canyon, and each time I look at it, it reminds me of the time 40 years ago, when I in a group from Sedona naively tried to paint these timeless rocks, dating not millions of years, but hundreds of millions years back to the time of Creation. It is such a unique place , and thank you , Flemming, for catching the sunset in your photo.
Dear Mette, thanks for your comment and story I am glad you like the print of Awe you bought. I hope you will share a photo of the print once you have it framed and on your wall.