The most impressive aspect of North Rim Grand Canyon is the depth and immensity of the canyon. I never thought I could capture either of those qualities in photos, but I was still going to try.

This shot looking over the edge of the canyon made me a little queasy and is probably as close as I am ever going to get to conveying just how steep these cliffs are, at least until I get to the south side of the canyon.


This shot of the Colorado River nearly indistinguishable as it runs through the canyon suggests how vast the canyon is,


but this medium shot of this massive rock


and this long-shot of the same rock formation


gives an even better impression of just how vast the canyon truly is.

Fortresses Against Time

Someone I met on our recent trip said that the Grand Canyon looks like Zion upside down. Virtually all the shots I took at Zion were pointing up, while almost all the shots I took at The Grand Canyon were pointing down.

That said, the rock structures themselves were magnificent in both places, dwarfing the human imagination. For a moment, at least, they almost made me wish that I had studied geology some time during my life.

Luckily, you don’t need to understand these structures to appreciate their beauty


in all


their diverse forms.


When I did think about them, I tended to think of them as fortresses


withstanding the onslaught of time.


Magical fortresses that will be here long after we are gone.

Framing Shots

One of the hardest things to convey in a photograph is a sense of depth, but that hasn’t stopped most photographers from trying to do so, and I’m no exception, particularly when it comes to The Grand Canyon.

Way back when I taught photography and yearbook classes, I endorsed the idea that framing objects like overhanging trees or branches could add a sense of depth to photos as I attempted to accomplish with this tree on the right side of the photo.


Of course, they can do more than just frame a picture; they can add color and texture as well as emphasize size as they do in this shot.


I liked the way this overhanging branch emphasized the contours of the ridge line.


The dramatic shape of these two trees does more than just frame the cliff behind them; they’re a central part of the photo,


and it’s probably my favorite shot of the day.

Some Grand Canyon Trees

If I were mainly interested in photographing trees, I would never have gone to Grand Canyon to do so. However, I couldn’t ignore their beauty since they lined the cliffs of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park


Bright Angel Point, our first stop, featured a number of spectacular trees, like this one near the beginning of the trail


which almost looked like it was planted as part of the landscaping, though I suspected it inspired the rock wall that now surrounds it.

Some trees seemed to spring up out of the rocks.


Other photographers didn’t seem quite as impressed by the trees as I was, but even if they weren’t spectacular they provided a nice way to frame and add depth to my shots,


As you will see more in tomorrow’s shots.