Moonlit Storm, Grand Canyon, Arizona

On the final night of my 4-day tour of the America Southwest with friends Suad, John, and Scott, we stayed at Grand Canyon National Park. It was not a major focus of this trip but we figured it was better to spend 1 morning at the Grand Canyon than no time at all, so that's the time that got allotted. We arrived at the Park after midnight, having driven from Monument Valley and Agathla Peak. None of us had great familiarity with the park and we decided to take some time, despite it being the middle of the night, to evaluate some of the viewpoints to scout a favorite spot for the next morning's sunrise.

 

After stopping at (and freezing at) Moran, Mather, and Yavapai Points we arrived at Hopi Point. At each of these points it had been very windy and cold and the skies had some pretty scary looking moonlit clouds. But liking the look of Hopi Point, at least form what we could tell in the dark, it was decided that someone (I readily volunteered) should fire off some quick exposures to see what we could really 'see'. Using roughly the same 3 minute exposure that was working well earlier in the evening I took this photo looking NNE from Hopi Point. The large white cloud was obvious even to the naked eye, but took on a whole new character once this exposure finished, as the shadow it cast over the canyon became clearer.

 

Within minutes of this exposure the valley became enveloped in fog as clouds rolled in over us from the south - a storm was moving in and we were right on the edge of it. After a couple additional exposures we packed it in and drove on to our hotel. By morning everything had a healthy coating of snow and the canyon again took on a whole new appearance.

 

 

Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20@14mm | f/8 | 200s | Tripod

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Taken on February 8, 2009