••• tiff firth photography •••

Sunday, February 5, 2012

grand canyon 5.2.12

I'm a bit worried about my knee at the moment,

so I took the morning off from the camera and hiking around with a heavy backpack. I slothed it instead. And it was lovely. I've been on the go for nearly 2 weeks and I relished the sleep in. I wanted to just rest my knee and see if the swelling goes down.

It didn't.

I booked to go on the Grand Canyon Airlines today at midday. I asked the staff to put me in the best seat for photography and they were happy to do so. This also happens to be where the heating for the cabin comes from , and as I don't do heat well in the first place, I cooked. I'm so glad I had the big jacket off, I had the scarf off, the jumper zip wide open just to let the body heat out. I sweated up a storm which in turn fogged up the window. I kept wiping it down with the scarf over and over and most of the images are a bit hazy due to the fog on the window. I'm a bit sad about that.

Also note that on the best days, Grand Canyon is hazy. It's not too bad first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon as it helps to diffuse the light a bit, but during the middle of the day, it make photography difficult. A circular polariser helps a bit, but not much. The haze really limits the field of vision by quite a bit and it leeches the colours out of the rocks. I really noticed this today when I flew. But I did have the two rivers, The Colorado and the Little Colorado in the sun, so they shone. Particularly the Little Colorado. Its extremely light blue due to the minerals in the water. And that really showed in the sunlight.

After the flight I dropped off the souvenir photo at my room, grabbed a sandwich, an apple and an orange juice and headed east along the Canyon wall.

First stop was the Pipeline Vista.

Then onto a couple of random unnamed lookouts before coming to the Grandview Vista.

 This is the spot that the Grand Canyon was first settled with a luxury hotel in its day!!!! When the railway came and stopped some 12 miles west of the hotel to the now Grand Canyon Village, the Hotel ceased to exist. I put on my cleats as there was ice on the trail-head that begins from here into the Canyon. I descended only a little way for my shots and admired the view. Thank goodness for those cleats or there would have been no way I would have attempted the descent.

Onwards to Moran Point. This is a stunning place with a marvellous 180 degree view of the canyon. The light was starting to turn so I stayed here for the golden hour and sunset.

Looking North East from Point Moran

The sun produced a glow on the very top edge of the North rim. It was so fleeting and it was gone in 30 seconds. I had to be quick. The threatening snow clouds stole most of the light but I did manage to capture a pano of 3 shots, each exposed for 10 seconds in length and stitched together.

Looking south west from Point Moran

I was very glad of the second pair of socks that I put on before I set up for sunset, as they wer getting cold. The rest of me was warm, just not my feet. According to the car it was 32degrees Fahrenheit which is 0 degrees Celsius. Freezing in other words.

But my knee ached something shocking. As much as I want to shoot sunrise, I am loathe to do so with this damn knee. At least when shooting sunset, I can be in a hot shower in about half an hour after I'm done. With sunrise, that's just the beginning of 3 hours of gorgeous light to take advantage of. So I'll be cold for a long time and this knee will really start to shit me off. I've got some painkillers here with me and taking double dose is not touching the side of it at all. So I think I'll shelve sunrise (7.30am) and head out about 8.30am to get at least two hours of light, before coming back to shower to warm up.  Its below freezing at dawn.... eeeeep.

I would like to explore the village tomorrow and head east again, as I only got about half way yesterday. I've  no idea where I'll be for sunset. Maybe at the watchtower. This will be my last sunset here.

I head back homewards on Tuesday (local time) and actually land home on Thursday (Aust time). I've 5 flights to catch to get home. Starting from driving from here to Flagstaff, flying from Flagstaff to Phoenix, Phoenix to LA (6 hour stopover) LAx to Auckland, Auckland to Adelaide, Adelaide to Pt Lincoln. I'm going to have the flattest, sorest bum by the time I land. ;op

I've been wondering how to program the GPS to get myself to Flagstaff when I discovered STAR in the hire car. It must work by sattalite. I push the button, it rings a real person who can program my GPS from her end and off I go. I pushed the STAR button today just to confirm that this can happen, otherwise I was going have to ask someone here who is GPS savvy to have a go. I had an attempt and totally stuffed it up.  You have no idea the relief when I discovered that STAR button. I actually pushed it in error in the dark trying to find the interior light button and was startled when I heard a ringing sound and even more so when a lady said 'good evening, how can I help you'. I had to laugh and say sorry I pushed the wrong button trying to find the light and now I didn't know how to hang up.  I wondered how many times they've heard this lol.

I'm sitting here with my knee up on a pillow while blogging, contemplating getting a towel of snow to put on it to help reduce the swelling.

Its painful to walk, it crunches with every step and I'm limping. I must look like a gimp that way I'm moving at the moment. This might help lol

I so hope it comes good on its own (it did last time) as I've another photography trip coming up mid month for 2 weeks. Then I'm chained to the sink for the rest of the year lol.

Time for bed me thinks
nitey nite.

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