Tips from the Pro’s – Aaron Meyers

Stormy Night at Horseshoe Bend

From the Photographer

Horseshoe Bend is both awe inspiring and scary at the same time; there is no guard rail along the edge of the thousand foot cliffs leading down to the Colorado River below. In the monsoon months of September and August wind, lightning and rain, as seen in this photo, make this place even more terrifying. The walk from the parking lot to Horseshoe Bend is well travelled and only slightly hilly. When you arrive at “The Bend” you will be amazed by the way the Colorado River twists around the sandstone in a horseshoe shape. There are vantage points all around the basin of the Bend and visitors take their pick from the infinite viewpoints.

 

On this particular evening I arrived early and made my way, carefully, to the edge of the cliff until I found a spot I wanted to take my photo from. As I waited for sunset a thunderstorm moved in and lightning started to flash all around. When I felt a few raindrops I knew I needed to run to safety. No sooner had I sprinted back to my car, the clouds opened up and rain fell in buckets. Thankfully monsoons are short lived and with 45 minutes to spare before sunset the rain stopped and I returned to The Bend. A second storm rolled in behind the first and to my relief it hid in the background, waiting for the sun to set and to light up its rain and storm clouds in amazing yellow and reds.

 

I used a wide-angle lens at 17mm on a full frame camera to capture the entire scene. Other photographers used even wider-angle lenses to capture more of the beautiful sandstone. Horseshoe Bend faces west and the sunset sky will be very bright compared to the sandstone foreground; I used graduated neutral density filters to darken the sky and allow me to capture the sunset and The Bend all in one photo.

Horseshoe Bend is both awe inspiring and scary at the same time; there is no guard rail along the edge of the thousand foot cliffs leading down to the Colorado River below. In the monsoon months of September and August wind, lightning and rain, as seen in this photo, make this place even more terrifying. The walk from the parking lot to Horseshoe Bend is well travelled and only slightly hilly. When you arrive at “The Bend” you will be amazed by the way the Colorado River twists around the sandstone in a horseshoe shape. There are vantage points all around the basin of the Bend and visitors take their pick from the infinite viewpoints.

 

On this particular evening I arrived early and made my way, carefully, to the edge of the cliff until I found a spot I wanted to take my photo from. As I waited for sunset a thunderstorm moved in and lightning started to flash all around. When I felt a few raindrops I knew I needed to run to safety. No sooner had I sprinted back to my car, the clouds opened up and rain fell in buckets. Thankfully monsoons are short lived and with 45 minutes to spare before sunset the rain stopped and I returned to The Bend. A second storm rolled in behind the first and to my relief it hid in the background, waiting for the sun to set and to light up its rain and storm clouds in amazing yellow and reds.

 

I used a wide-angle lens at 17mm on a full frame camera to capture the entire scene. Other photographers used even wider-angle lenses to capture more of the beautiful sandstone. Horseshoe Bend faces west and the sunset sky will be very bright compared to the sandstone foreground; I used graduated neutral density filters to darken the sky and allow me to capture the sunset and The Bend all in one photo.

About the Photographer

bio-SAaron Meyers is a landscape and wedding photographer living in Silicon Valley, CA. Though trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Michigan, Aaron is never happier than when in possession of a good camera and a great view. His love of the outdoors makes for frequent forays into the Californian wilds, where he delights in the stunning vistas of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and the Pacific Coast – but it was in Vancouver, British Columbia that (with the help of a pod of orcas and his dad’s old Canon AE-1) he first learned to combine his love of nature with a talent for snapping pictures … He’s been hooked ever since.

 

About the author

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