There's a lot of chance that plays into getting interesting photos in remote locations especially when you let the unfolding events control your shots. What I've discovered is on some photo outings nothing happens; the skies are clear, the company is dull and the location sucks no matter how stunning the place might be. Then on other trips great events unfold, great light happens and making nice photos is as easy as pointing the camera in the right direction and letting the shutter fly.
This point was made clear to me again on a recent multi-day hike off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I was joined on the trip with two botanist, Glenn Rink and Steve Till, as well as another avid canyon explorer Bob Dye.
I was in the Canyon on a scouting trip for a future story. The others had no set determined goals so the hike quickly unfolded as a casual romp in the Park to explore some new country and have some fun. And of course I brought a camera should anything interesting happen.
I liked this shot of Steve exploring the art of flying. If I claimed that this sort of activity is a hot new sport craze, it would have the Park managers of GCNP sleepless with worry, but it's only Steve enjoying some flight-time.
Okay I did have some photographic goals during the trip. I did want to make a nice portrait of Bob Dye. Bob is incredibly knowledgeable about the canyon and displays an uncanny ability to find ancient building sites and artifacts.
Glenn Rink is the ultimate energized hiker. As we walked out of the Canyon across the Powell Plateau in a blowing fog and wet snow, I managed to get a photo of Glenn in his element. He later admitted that when I took this photo he was freezing cold and was nearly running to stay warm.
So like many people I enjoyed three days of photo serendipity in the Grand Canyon and I am already planning on my next trip. This last photo is what Glenn says is the ultimate scout of Deubendorf Rapids. What I saw was the beautiful curve of the Colorado River, the steep ridges dropping off the Great Thumb and more than a few reasons to return.