Picture Taking at The Grand Canyon

  In July, my family and I got to visit the Grand Canyon, which was an experience unlike anything else in the world. I know that sounds cliche, but if you go there yourself, then you will come to know what I mean.

 Before this, I had only seen other people's pictures of the Grand Canyon, so at first it did not appeal to me. When I saw it in person, I understood why it was such an amazing sight. I  also used this opportunity to practice my photography skills.

  I took two sets of pictures, one during the sunset and one at sunrise. These pictures were taken during sunset:

Picture 1

 The above picture is my first picture. On the right, there are three formations in the distance. One such formation, called the Isis Temple, highlighted by the glowing peak on the right, is easily distinguishable in this picture.

Picture 2

 For Picture 2,  I wanted to capture the sunset's reflection off of the rock. I like Picture 2 because of how the sun lit up the cliff on the right. For the last picture of the evening, Picture 3, I reduced the exposure so that the orange sky above the left cliff stood out. 

Picture 3

These pictures were taken early the next day:

Picture 4

 We all went out to another spot the next morning to take these pictures. For Pictures 4, 5 and 6, I wanted to focus more on the sky, and to capture as much as I could, these pictures also have a larger field of view. The way the clouds look compared to the South Rim makes the picture look surreal.

Picture 5

 Picture 6 has a larger field of view. Both Pictures 5 and 6 were meant to be a picture of the sunrise coloring the clouds, and I think 6 does a better job of than the top one. 

Picture 6

Picture 7

 I took Picture 7 to see what happened if I lowered the exposure on my phone camera. It turned out well, as the sky sharply contrasts the silhouette of the canyon. This picture reminds me of an opening scene to a blockbuster movie.

 My dad taught me to offset the subject of the picture slightly, which I tried to do in all of these pictures. By placing the subject away from the center, it stands out compared to whatever is in the center of the picture. You can easily see this technique with my pictures of the clouds- there is a shrub to the right that captures your attention very quickly. This shrub was not my intended subject, but it looks like I had intentionally put it there to add detail. The first picture I took at sunset also demonstrates this technique somewhat- the subject of that picture was the lit up sky created by the sunset, so I moved it left instead of aiming it at the center.

 I also experimented with the settings on my camera to produce what I thought would make for better looking pictures. I am not a professional photographer, so do not take this as a tip, but in all of my pictures, I found that is was very helpful to slightly lower the exposure. In bright settings, lowering the exposure makes things more detailed, as it is less washed out by light. If you lower it too much, then only the richest color will be seen and everything else will be too dark. If you are trying to make dark and light contrast like in my last picture, then it is best to have a very low exposure. However, if your exposure is too low or too high, you will not see much detail in the picture.

 While you can look at many pictures online of the the Grand Canyon, the only way to really comprehend its "grandness" is to be there yourself. These pictures are what I thought represented the beauty of the Southern Rim, but they pale in comparison to seeing those sights with my own eyes. Nonetheless, I hope these pictures are able to convey the sense of awe I had at the time that I took them.