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How Grand Canyon Started My Journey as a Photographer

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The idea of taking photographs to let people see new places around the world sounded like a dream job to me. I started a list of places I wanted to photograph around the world and hung it on my wall. Never actually thinking I would get the chance to go and photograph them. As time passed, I forgot about the list until an opportunity arose. A local art center announced that they would be having a photography contest and it was open to the public. So, I decided to take a chance and go somewhere I had never been before.

Someday as I pulled up to the gate the welcome sign read, Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon was one of my bucket lists places to visit since first getting my camera and taking an interest in photography. Just as one of my dream destinations was right in front of me, all I wanted to do was try and remember it the way I saw it in that moment. The Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world. This is because of many natural changes in the past that have caused it’s beauty. Up to six million years ago the Grand Canyon was only a river, but over time the river started to wear away at the rock and soils beneath it. This also happened because of the layers of rocks that were built up. This affected the Grand Canyon deeply. It changed the whole look of what it used to be and turned into something completely different. Moreover, it is the largest in the USA.

Driving to my hotel I was amazed at the forest around me. It was similar to West Virginia (the place I have called home for eighteen years) in the way that it had tons of trees and animals all over the place. There was something magical about the small differences I noticed on my trip so far. I especially loved the Aspen trees; they were bright white trees that towered over me and had these beautiful yellow leaves at the very top. The little lizards scattering off as I walked from my car to the hotel lobby scared me at first but eventually, I became use to them.

After a long day of traveling I decided to get some sleep and start fresh the next day. I was so ready to capture the most amazing photographs and finally get to see the Grand Canyon but first I needed rest. The resort I was staying at had a huge patio made of stone, around back. The stairs to the left led down to a trail that outlined the rim of the Grand Canyon. As I walked down the stairs, I saw a perfect place for a photograph. There were beautiful arch openings under the patio that overlook the Grand Canyon. The arch seems to frame the view perfectly, with the canyon’s cliffs, trees and sunset in the background. Then I decided to take a little hike further down the trail. At one point the trail itself caught my attention because it was extremely curvy with flowers and trees on both sides. I set my tripod up and took a step back to make sure that everything would be even and in frame the way I wanted it to be. When I find something that interest me, I want to take photographs of it, so later I can learn more about it.

I decided that one morning I wanted to wake up early and capture the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. I jumped out of bed and rushed outside to see what was going on. After standing with a group of people for twenty minutes the hotel manager told everyone that it was a false fire alarm. I walked back to my room and I happened to glance over at my camera bag sitting on the desk. One of the worst things that could happen did. I saw that my cameras battery had not been charging. Knowing I would have very little battery to photograph the sunrise I plugged it back in and hoped for the best. A few hours later I woke up to begin getting things ready to head out on the trail. As I arrive to the overlook, I only saw one other person there, an elderly man sitting on a bench. I walked over and said hello, but the conversation about to come I did not expect. He saw my camera and asked, “have you taken any photos that you like?’. I told him “just a couple, would you like to see some?” He replied “Sure, if you don’t mind.” As I showed him some of the photographs, he began to tell me why he was at the Grand Canyon. “My wife and I would take a trip here every year for our anniversary. Her name was Betty and she passed away last year. This is my first year without her. I wake up every morning and spend sunrise thinking about her.” I tried my best to hold back tears, but I had recently lost someone very special in my life. The time seemed to fade with every wonderful story the elderly man would tell me of his and Betty’s life together. As the sun started to rise, I took all the photographs I could. After everyone watched and took their pictures they started to leave. I turned to George and wished him a wonderful trip and headed off to explore more trails.

After spending a week at the Grand Canyon, it was finally time for the trip to come to an end. I had taken every photograph I could, with almost two thousand photographs to go through. I knew I would have my work cut out for me the moment I got home. The first thing to do was to pick my favorites and start editing. Then I needed to choose and name the photographs I was going to be entering into the contest. I chose some from my trip to Boston earlier in the year, some came from my trip to the Grand Canyon, and a few photos I had taken in my own hometown. 

At the end of this trip I was proud of myself for trying my best and for deciding to visit exactly Grand Canyon as a place for taking my photos.

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How Grand Canyon Started My Journey as a Photographer. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from
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