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the grand canyon: a photographer's dream


According to resident artist and photographer Adam Schallau, “you can’t capture the essence of the Grand Canyon in a single photo.“ For photographers, no other truer words exist, and you will find yourself amazed by the number of breathtaking photos to capture.

In fact, no two pictures can ever be the same. Not because of unique perspectives but because the landscape often changes so quickly that a single shade of color shifts within a matter of seconds. Plus, move your camera a bit and you end up with a completely new shot. The Grand Canyon, even if you only visit a part of its 277-mile stretch, is a photographer’s dream indeed.

Going on A Photography Trip to The Grand Canyon

Many visitors make the huge mistake of simply going to the rim, staying for a few hours (or even shorter), and then calling it a day. The first rule of photography is knowing your subject in-depth, which you cannot achieve in as wide a place like the Grand Canyon. You simply have to dive deep (figuratively) and explore the different views. This means, not just from the rim above, but on the way down the canyons, the hidden spots, and from the Colorado River looking up. 

Taking an exploration trip around the Grand Canyon is the best way to capture more of its secret treasures or simply view it from a different perspective. There are ways to go around, from hiking trips to rafting trips. There are very limited access points by car, so this is not really an option. You will simply have to pack a bag and your camera.

Why Should You Go on a Rafting Trip to The Grand Canyon?

  • It Is Faster

Going by boat is the best option for photographers wanting to explore the area more thoroughly. Not only is it much easier than hiking, but you will also be able to cover more ground this way. In as short as 3 to 4 days, you will be able to see more of the Grand Canyon by raft than on foot. These rafting package trips are usually divided into sections so that different spots can be explored during the day before tenting up for the night. 

  • You Discover More of The Grand Canyon

If you do not have much time to take a 7-day rafting trip from one end of the Grand Canyon to the other, you can take a shorter one, lasting between 3 to 4 days. These trips focus on one part, either the Upper, Lower, or the Western Canyon. They have their own sceneries and spots where you can take photoshoots. While there are landscapes that are photographers’ favorites, try to not limit yourself to these places as there are certainly newer, unique, and lesser-known spots that have not been as well-photographed.

  • No Lugging Your Equipment Around

Imagine if you have to hike the Grand Canyon with not just your personal stuff but also with your camera gear. Some of the terrain is already difficult even with minimal stuff, so if you have to add heavy bags (and a tripod), then you will simply be exhausted. When you go on a rafting trip, on the other hand, your personal items will be transported by boat (dry and secure) and you can do shorter hikes or photoshoots with only the camera gear you need. The rest can stay at camp.

Tips for A Successful Grand Canyon Photography Trip

  • Consider the Lighting

Sunrise is the favorite time of photographers, although sunsets can also be majestic at the Grand Canyon. The advantage of early mornings is peace and quiet, especially if you do not want to be distracted. But the beautiful colors as the sun is rising or setting make up for a beautiful shot in the end.

  • Use Foreground Elements 

Include a rock, plant, or a similar element to catch the viewer’s eye and to make your shot more interesting. It also distinguishes between the foreground and the background.

  • Place a Person

The canyons are majestic, but you are most able to show their majesty when you put a person on the shot to highlight how truly immense the Grand Canyon is.

  • Use A Tripod

You will not regret bringing a tripod with you especially when you want to end up with sharp images or if you are shooting in limited light. 


The Grand Canyon is truly a dream destination for photographers, so take the time to discover all of its sceneries and immortalize them through your pictures.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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