When I was visiting Grand Canyon in the beginning of May as part of my travel photography trip to the southwest, I could not complain about the weather. It was decent. The temperature was around 20°C (70°F) with clear air and some clouds. The only discomfort was caused by a very strong and gusty wind.
Every time I planned my shot, I had to apply extra pressure with my body weight to my tripod for extra stabilization. At some point, I almost lost my gear because I was not careful enough in trying to setup my Feisol on an uneven surface at the edge of the cliff. That made me think that it is quite dangerous to hike at such a proximity to the canyon when the rocks are wet or covered with ice, and the strong wind can also cause some deadly slips. I started to guess how many people lose their lives every year from the falls over the rim. Knowing that the Grand Canyon is such a popular travel destination all year around, I estimated that the number should be pretty high.
For some reason, I never stopped thinking about it and I had to google it when I was in my hotel room later that day. Sure enough, in 30sec, I found official statistics from the National Park Service. Park statistics show that about 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year and only 2-3 people die from falls. This useless fact satisfied my obsessive curiosity and I started preparing for my long drive to Bryce next day.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
Bracketing: 5 shots (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used only 4 bracketed images out of 5 to tone map image (-2, -1, 0, +1 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, removing HDR artifacts in water, contrast.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky)
- Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (cliffs, tree, rocks)