Horseshoe bend grad3
Trevor Murphy’s photo of Horseshoe Bend was selected as CNN’s photo of the day Jan 15, 2013

From the Photographer

Horseshoe Bend and photography go hand in hand and the first glimpse of the Bend will stay with you forever. Capturing that moment in a quality photograph can be as rewarding as standing on the cliff itself. Here is how I approached photographing Horseshoe Bend and my technique.

I used a Canon 5d MarkIII with Canon 8-15mm lens, tripod and shutter release cable.  As you can see in the photograph the fisheye lens adds bit of depth to the canyon plus some added distance to the mountains in the background, while capturing a great deal of the foreground. Keep in mind not to get to close to the lens, the Fisheye’s effect will start to distort if a subject  gets closer than 3 feet. For this shot I had the camera raised to its highest point on the tripod to capture myself and the river as much as possible. Exposure is a big deal when photographing desert cliff walls like the Grand Canyon or Horseshoe Bend. The shadows that are thrown on the walls have dramatic effect on the colors of the rocks.

As a photographer you want to keep that in mind and pay attention to the shadows. The way I like to think of it is to start in the shadows and work your way up to a nice contrast with the sky / highlights. The setting I used were..f/22 iso/100 1/60s .  The f-stop is all how you want it took look,the iso should be at its lowest and the shutter speed depends on the light. Keep in mind if there are people in the frame keep the shutter speed above 1/60 ..peoples movements are generally 1/80s and above. Landscape photography should always involve a tripod, camera shake does drastic things to objects off in the distance.

I shot this self portrait in the morning hours with the sun off my back to the right. I haven’t spent a lot of time at the Bend but, I would say the best time for shooting the Bend would be around 10am till 2pm. Anything after 2pm your going to be fighting the sun.

Most of all have fun, be creative and enjoy.

About the Photographer 

Trevor M 

Name : Trevor Murphy  Home town: Orleans ,Cape Cod,  Massachusetts Occupation: Photographer ,chef and artist. Age 36 . Photographic interests: Landscapes ,action sports and everything else.


Check out more of Trevor’s stuff at


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