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Backstories About the Images - Grand Canyon

It's probably not very difficult to figure out where this week's image was made.

While there are many stunning National Park Service properties located within the Colorado Plateau, Grand Canyon National Park often steals the show.

One of the wonders of the natural world, this hugely popular tourist destination was designated a park in 1919. Because it is so often visited - and so very often photographed - one of the challenges when approaching it with the camera is how to create a unique image.

When this photo was made, it was very early in the spring - so the days were still rather short: good light would come more quickly. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground at rim elevation and it was chilly; relatively few people were there. By mid-afternoon the quality of the light began to quickly improve and the canyon walls took on warmer hues. Some clouds overhead helped to add some interest - but I was looking for a different way to depict the scene.

Finally, I found this pinyon pine standing on the very edge of the South Rim and leaning toward the colorful walls below as if searching for an even better view. The dappled light and snow in the foreground provide some context. The tree anchors this composition, with the canyon playing a supporting role. A different way of interpreting the Grand Canyon.

What better way to convey visually the idea of the magnificent wonders God has done than a location such as this?

The image was used as the basis for one of our personalized Teacher Appreciation plaques featuring the fourth verse of Psalm 78.

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