Sunrise to Sunset Photo Series

In this series of photographs, Brian Klimowski answers one of our most commonly asked questions, “What is the best time of day to photograph Horseshoe Bend?” Thanks to his efforts, you can get a sense what what time you should be there depending on the effect that you want (and your luck with the weather!) Thanks Brian!


In my photography I not only attempt to convey unique moments, aspects and light, but also a sense of pattern, process and evolution. I frequent the Page area, and enjoy shooting many of the popular (and relatively unknown) locations nearby. In my Horseshoe Bend series, I wanted to capture the dance of light and atmosphere through one day (from the same perspective) when interesting interactions were likely (late monsoon season). The September day I chose provided just what I was looking for. I arrived at Horseshoe Bend well before sunrise and scouted the location where I would shoot the series of photographs. I used a tripod, and marked the exact perspective so that it could be easily repeated. Images were taken approximately every hour from 30 minutes before sunrise, to about 30 minutes after sunset.

The temperatures were pleasant, and I gave myself the opportunity to spend the entire day at the location (equipped with water, food, a good book, and plenty of sunscreen), but ended up marking the location carefully and running into town a couple times to add a bit of variety to my day, and keep my perspective fresh. With a little planning I was able to capture what I had envisioned, and am very satisfied with the results. Beautiful locations such as Horseshoe Bend graciously reward those that patiently pursue them.

Taken with aCanon EOS 10D

About the author


Janice Halphen - January 15, 2013

What a great article on Horseshoe Bend. Thanks for sharing all you hard work. We are going in a few weeks and I am excited about trying to photograph that area. You have been a great help.

Next Stop: Horseshoe Bend | Everything Glitters - May 27, 2013

[…] Give some thought to the time of day you want to photograph. According to a number of websites I read, the best times to photograph Horseshoe Bend are between 1pm and 3pm. The sunlight illuminates even the deepest parts of the canyon at that time. To see photographs of the bend at all hours of the day, reference this site. […]

Photographing Horseshoe Bend - Horseshoe Bend - May 8, 2014

[…] Different times of day will have dramatically different lighting because of the depth of the canyon. This series of photographs will give you an sense of what the light will be like at each time of day. Brian Klimowski -Tips from the pro’s – Sunrise to Sunset at Horseshoe Bend […]


[…] **for my photographers, definitely grab a wide-angle lens for this one & check this out […]

Itinera Magica - March 21, 2016

I really love all your posts about Horseshoe Bend. I’m going there next week and I’m super excited – I save all the tips to Pinterest!

Jessica - April 13, 2016

I’m so glad I found this website – it’s so helpful! Thank you for all the information you have provided users like me!

Looking way down to the river – Gretel Goes Places - July 24, 2016

[…] at the Lower Antelope Canyon around noon, and then moved on to the bend. I found a blog with a comparison of the sun coloring the Horseshoe Bend over the day. I liked the early afternoon and planned […]

Siddharth - November 9, 2016

This was incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put this up!

    Alley Keosheyan - January 30, 2017

    You are welcome Siddharth!

Si Wheeler - February 12, 2017


Would a 24mm lens on a full frame sensor (D810) be wide enough to get the whole scene, or would I need wider?

    Alley Keosheyan - February 13, 2017

    Good morning Si and thank you for visiting our site!
    Opinions are all over the place as to how wide a lens you should use, and some visitors even manage to get a decent shot of Horseshoe Bend using just their iPhones. Visit our Facebook page and you’ll see ->:
    In the meantime, you’re sure to find lots of useful tips for photographing Horseshoe Bend and other scenery nearby on our photography page.
    Hope that helps! Have a wonderful trip,

Lindsey - March 14, 2017

Can you tell me what time the second row of photos was taken? Trying to plan an elopement wedding at Horseshoe Bend and would love the best lighting for photos.. Thank you!

    Alley Keosheyan - March 14, 2017

    Hi Lindsey!
    The second row of photos were taking from early- to- mid-afternoon. Hope that helps! Have a wonderful wedding,

Visiting Horseshoe Bend - Carrie Gillaspie - March 17, 2017

[…] 10:30am-ish. As you can see in most of my photos I had to wrestle with an ugly shadow. This is an awesome article that gives a more in-depth look at how photos will turn out at different times in the […]

Jim Radford - March 20, 2017

Sun can demand some compromises. Although there are no bad pictures. I lucked out with a CLOUDY day, and just bumped the rocky exposure in PS. So, in theory, no objectionable shadows.Sometimes best to follow the sun, sometimes the clouds, the great soft box in the sky. Jim

sumi - April 15, 2017

Hi there, is it possible to visit Grand canyon, Antelope canyon and Horseshoe bend in 1 day ?? we are planning to leave really early possibly 4 am from Las Vegas.

    Alley Keosheyan - April 15, 2017

    Hi Sumi, thanks for stopping by!
    In theory, yes, it is possible. In reality, I wouldn’t do it if you paid me.
    First off, it takes 4.5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim; that is if you drive directly, which you probably won’t. After all, ya gotta stop by Hoover Dam, maybe Seligman to see some of the old Route 66. The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, Arizona (where Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are located) is 2.5 hours; again, that’s direct, which rarely happens. Lots of cool viewpoints and points of interest along the way. You would need to allow about 90 minutes to 2 hours at each attraction, and mind you, that’s after 7+ hours of driving. Then, the drive from Page to Las Vegas would take another 4.5+ hours, some of that likely being a night drive, which we don’t recommend in this part of the country.
    So add that all up, and you’re looking at 12-15 hours driving in one day’s time. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like my idea of a vacation. I’m getting tired just thinking about it!
    Do yourself, and your traveling companions a favor and pare down this wish list so you can have some quality time. If one day is all you have to spare, then choose one place to go, either the Grand Canyon or Page. Better yet, carve some time out of your schedule to stay overnight either at the Grand Canyon and/or Page. Hotels in either place do book up in advance, so visit Grand Canyon hotels, Page, Arizona hotels, or Page Vacation Rentals to make reservations.
    Hope that helps. Have fun!

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