About the shot: Nikon D300, Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO200, 12mm
About the shot: Nikon D300, Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO200, 12mm

From the Photographer:

Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River is one of THE classic southwest photo locations. And in my ignorance, I didn’t even know I was there until I practically fell into it. Early on in my photography career I was driving blindly through northern Arizona on a road trip and had no idea what was where. It wasn’t until I hit the outskirts of Page and saw the turnoff for the Horseshoe Bend trail that I realized what an opportunity I had on my hands. I was there in January and due to snow storms it took me two visits to the bend before I could even see into the canyon. When the vista finally did present itself, it was under a clearing winter storm which had left just a dusting of snow on the distant peaks – a perfect backdrop to this awe-inspiring natural feature.
The day before
The day before
Virtually every shot you see of Horseshoe Bend is taken from the exact same spot: the rim of the canyon where the access trail comes out. In my opinion there is nothing as boring as going to the same spot as everyone else and taking the same photo as everyone else. I walked north along the edge of the canyon to see what other viewpoints were available. After only a few minutes of looking around I found this fissure in the rock which provided a seldom-seen view of the bend. After taking this image I continued to scout along the north wall of the canyon, making it some 30 minutes or so before a massive side canyon turned me back. But along the way I found some unusual views of this dramatic scene, and the best part was that I had them all to myself.
My advice to anyone wanting to shoot Horseshoe Bend is this: don’t be afraid to find a viewpoint that’s new and different. The entire canyon is massive and dramatic and there are a thousand gorgeous shots out there waiting for anyone willing to step outside the bounds of what everyone else does.

About the Photographer:

Born in the city, raised in the mountains. Grew up on granite and the smell of pine trees. Studied engineering and got a job designing satellites but didn’t like sitting in a cube all day. Found photography, fell in love with it, and have no plans to do anything else.
My work has won numerous contests, been published nationally, and hangs on walls in homes across the United States.




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