Sunrise Shadows and Ridges at Moran Point

On February 26, 2024, in Arizona, by admin
Moran Point Sunrise (click image to enlarge)

Nikon D810, 58mm, ISO 200, 1/15 sec, f/13

This was the last sunrise of my trip. I had to get up extra early to make the drive to Moran Point which is near the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. My plan was to leave the park via the eastern exit on my way to Yuma AZ for business. This would be about a 7 hour drive, but I had a few photography opportunities on the way, so it took much longer than that. The things we do for our hobby.

Moran Point is interesting because it allows you to shoot the length of the canyon, instead of mostly shooting across the canyon as at other scenic vistas within the park. This is another focus-stacked image consisting of four images focused on different ridge lines.

That ends my three day Grand Canyon National Park photography trip. I captured 362 images that I deemed worthy of saving (the original number was way higher) from 10 different locations. Fifteen of those images ended up on this blog. It was a long three days chasing sunrise and sunset, but well worth the effort!

Moran Point: 36.004709° -111.924121°

Lipan Point Tripod Location (click image to enlarge)

Nikon D810, 40mm, ISA 200, 1/10 sec, F/13

The little plateau with the trees on it in the center of the image is where I captured sunrise images at Lipan Point. Notice the two people in the image for a sense of scale. First, one must scramble down from the flat ground on the left, then scramble up to the plateau. There are several places where you can scramble down from one plateau and then up the next one. Once on the plateau, you can shoot right or left across the canyon, or straight across to the north rim.

I scouted this area the day prior between capturing sunrise and sunset images at other overlooks. I explored several routes to the top of the plateau and picked the easiest one to do with my loaded photography backpack. I did that route several times to pick out handholds and footholds for the easiest ascent.

I made sure I had a headlamp and two handheld flashlights when I actually made the climb before sunrise. To my surprise, two other photographers arrived in the parking lot when I did, and we all headed to the same plateau. We ended up sharing that little plateau for two hours or so, and then spent equally as long in the parking lot discussing Grand Canyon photography.

Lipan Point: 36.032788° -111.852750°

Yaki Point Lightray

On January 29, 2024, in Arizona, by admin
Yaki Point, Grand Canyon National Park (click image to enlarge)

Nikon D810, 30mm, ISO 200, 1/6 sec. f/14

So close, yet so far. This is a pretty good composition, except for the blown out sky in the upper right corner. This image was captured at sunrise, with the sun itself at that brightest point in the image. The overcast sky keeps the rest of the sky from blowing out and allows for a decent exposure of the landscape. I did try exposure bracketing to compensate for the bright sun; it was just too bright no matter the exposure setting.

That single ray of light is the highlight of the image.

I did have two very noticeable dust spots in the clouds on the left side of the original image. The spots appeared on several images before I noticed them while reviewing images in-camera. I used the cameras Image Sensor Cleaning function which knocked the dust off the sensor. Subsequent images were fine. Dust spots in the image above were easily fixed during post-processing using Photoshop’s Content Aware function.

Yaki Point, 36.058613° -112.083175°

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