Last Light

Advancing Squall, Desert View, Grand Canyon

Advancing Squall at Dusk, Desert View, Grand Canyon
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
30 seconds
F/14
ISO 200
29 mm

It occurred to me while processing this image that, just like the lightning strike image in my previous post, this was my next-to-last image of the day. Which got me thinking about why I like these late-light images, and also about the similarities and differences between the two images.

Both images were captured in conditions much darker than the final image indicates. In this scene from Desert View on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, the sunset’s fading vestiges clung to the northeast horizon, while a rain squall swept across the opposite rim. The workshop group had just wrapped up a glorious sunset shoot that included a double rainbow in the east, and fully illuminated, golden curtains of rain in the west. While I have many far more spectacular images from that evening (that I’ll no doubt get to eventually), there was something about the quiet of the rim after most of the photographers and sunset gawkers had vacated, that caused me to keep shooting in the gathering darkness.

As with Saturday night’s lightning image, the canyon’s color this evening was no longer visible, but it was still light enough to make out definition in the walls all the way down to the twisting Colorado River. And unlike the lightning shoot, when I was tense with anticipation of the next strike, my feeling this evening at Desert View was one of utter calm. I’d found my scene, the light was fading gradually, and all I had to do was wait for the advancing rain squall to move into my frame. Sublime.

3 Comments on “Last Light

  1. I will be taking one of your workshops… It’s just a matter of time…

  2. Sublime is definitely the word, Gary! The squall is just an added delight to this already sweet, sweet shot man! These are so winderful. i REALLY like the darker tones held here, which really sink into my mind! Awesome exposure settings, and brilliant composition as always, Gary!!

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