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Sunrise to Sunset Photo Series

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!

FROM THE ARTIST

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

Ryan

Ryan is an avid hiker and long time resident of Page, AZ. What he lacks in spelling and grammatical expertise he makes up for with extensive knowledge from a lifetime of questionable choices and the ability to ask for help from great editors

16 Comments

  1. Sohini

    Hi!! The photographs are fabulous.

    I will be traveling from monument valley to south rim Grand Canyon in the first week of August 2017. Enroute I plan to stop at page to visit lower/ upper Antelope canyon and horseshoe bent.
    The aim to capture best pictures at each of these places without any rush. Would it make sense to take the 11 am tour shot at lower antelope followed by the 1 pm one at upper and wait till sunset at horseshoe bent? If needed I can cover any of 2 of the 3 in a day , continue to Grand Canyon and drive back from Grand Canyon the next day to finish off the 3rd . What would make sense ? In addition, what is the avg sunset time in aug ?

    Reply
    • Alley Keosheyan

      Hi, Sohini! Thanks for the compliments on the photos — I personally can’t take credit for them, but I’ll certainly pass on your regards to those who can.
      Now to the business at hand: I have to be honest with you, your plan is not exactly ideal. If you want to, as you say “capture the best pictures at each place without any rush,” modifying your schedule so you can stay the night in Page, AZ would be more conducive to that. Doing the 11 AM tour of Lower Antelope, followed by the 1:00 PM tour of Upper is good so far, but most would agree that Horseshoe Bend is best seen in the afternoon. Sunset is OK, but since the overlook faces due West, the “Bend” will be in shadow the lower the sun gets on the horizon. Sunset occurs at around 7:15 PM in August.
      Another reason we don’t recommend seeing sunset at Horseshoe Bend then driving to Grand Canyon South Rim is because driving at night can be dangerous in this part of the U.S. Supplemental/artificial lighting is kept to a bare minimum, plus deer, elk and other wildlife like to congregate near the roadways at night. Trust us, you don’t want to have a collision with one.
      Driving back from Grand Canyon to Page the next day to catch the attractions you missed is also less than desirable. No one wants to backtrack whilst on vacation, plus if you get charged by the mile on your rental car, that can rack up your trip costs.
      Hope that helps and that your travels are safe and happy!
      Alley

      Reply
  2. Mooshie Lynn

    These photo’s are wonderful !! I must go here soon! =)

    Reply
  3. sumi

    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.

    Reply
    • Alley Keosheyan

      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!
      Alley

      Reply
  4. Lindsey

    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!

    Reply
    • Alley Keosheyan

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

      Reply
  5. Si Wheeler

    Hi,

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

    Reply
    • Alley Keosheyan

      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 ->: https://www.facebook.com/horseshoebendaz/
      In the meantime, you’re sure to find lots of useful tips for photographing Horseshoe Bend and other scenery nearby on our photography page. http://horseshoebend.com/category/photographing-horseshoe-bend/
      Hope that helps! Have a wonderful trip,
      Alley

      Reply
  6. Siddharth

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

    Reply
    • Alley Keosheyan

      You are welcome Siddharth!

      Reply
  7. Jessica

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

    Reply
  8. Itinera Magica

    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!

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Janice Halphen

    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.

    Reply

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