Grand Circle — Horseshoe Bend

So we drove from Zion National Park back to Page, Arizona, where we would shoot on several area locations then learn post-processing from workshops taught by Bill Fortney, Snake Barrett, Jim Begley, and R.C. Concepcion. I told you the best was yet to come on our Grand Circle Red Rock Adventure.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona, in the United States. Horseshoe Bend is located 5 miles (8.0 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Page. It is accessible via a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) hike from U.S. Route 89, but an access road also reaches the geological structure, as it is part of a state park. The Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above. The overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and the Colorado River is at 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level, making it a 1,000-foot (300 m) drop. The Horseshoe Bend contains various minerals, among which are hematite, platinum and garnet.

Perhaps, for me, the most exciting photoshoot on this Grand Circle Red Rock Adventure was the famous Horseshoe Bend located near Page, Arizona. We learned the day before that we would have to wait for the weather forecast in the morning to determine if we could even do the shoot because high winds might make it too dangerous. That got my heart beating a bit faster. But oh, how I wanted to shoot this beautiful location I had only seen in pictures. I was up early, got my gear, and was ready, hoping that it would be a go and it was! It was still pitch black dark when we all drove to the location, got our cameras, flashlights, and began the long trek to Horseshoe Bend overlook.

It was at least a half hour walk in the dark with the sun just barely casting light in the sky. When we got to the location I understood why this could be a dangerous shoot. We are literally setting up our tripods on the edge of a high jagged cliff. Wide angle lenses are a must for this shot. You can see that we were literally on the edge. And yes, that’s me with the teal coat sitting at the edge of the rock with my tripod. What photographers will do for the shot!

R.C. Concepcion was next to me on this shoot. Let me tell you about this guy — he’s author of The HDR Book — Unlocking the Pro’s Hottest Post-Processing Techniques and Get Your Photography on the Web, and one of the Photoshop Guys with Scott Kelby on Photoshop User TV, and one of the instructors on Kelby Training. Those are just a few of his credits, but he is so much more than that. He is brilliant with photography and just about any piece of software — he just has the professional it mentality. At Horsehoe Bend, he was shooting with a fisheye lens on his iPhone at the same time as he was using his DSLR camera – how does someone do that — I don’t know, but he did it like a pro. He was taking hero shots of everyone perched perilously close to the edge of the cliff.

This gallery has R.C. shooting with two cameras simultaneously. Yes, he was. And I’m definitely getting the gizmo he had for the iPhone that is a fisheye, wideangle, and macro lens. It’s called an olliclip – very cool. Officially on my wishlist. Thanks RC — you’re amazing. Loved shooting Horseshoe Bend with you and everyone else.

As I was thinking about our photo shoot at Horseshoe Bend, our final major photoshoot on the Grand Circle Red Rock Adventure, I thought about one of the most important character qualities of a photographer. And then, even more importantly, one of the most important qualities any of us can have in life. There is something in every great photographer that makes them not want to miss it. They have a tenacity that pushes them to climb down the hill and get to that perfect spot where the view is just right and they can compose the photo and get the good light and reflection on the water. It’s the kind of thing that makes someone like me drive to the perfect location just so I can see the Olympic torch carried through the city where I live. It’s what makes us get up in the middle of the night to see a meteor shower. We just want to see it. We want to capture it. The perfect beauty. The majesty of the moment. The perfect shot.

For me, this translates even deeper to my walk in grace with the Lord. I don’t want to miss Him — who He is, what He does, and what He has to say to me. It’s what gets me up early in the morning just so that I can sit for a few moments with my Bible open to hear Him speak. It’s what makes me grab my camera before work and go out to a special location in the desert near where I live and walk with Him and capture some beautiful shots of His creation.

I love photography. But I love the Lord even more. Only God is big enough to fill a heart. Knowing the Lord brings meaning and purpose to everything we do, even photography.

Today, as you go about your day, take time for the beauty, and make time for the Lord. You don’t want to miss it or Him.

♥ God bless you in the great adventure of knowing Him!


myPhotoWalk — Grand Circle Red Rock Adventure — Featured Posts

The Grand Circle is a beautiful, expansive region located in the Southwestern United States. Encompassing portions of five states — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada — the Grand Circle contains America’s largest concentration of national parks and monuments, linked together by nationally designated Scenic Byways. Some of America’s most extraordinary scenery can be found within the Grand Circle — Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Utah, and Antelope Canyon, Arizona.

Bill Fortney, a world renowned professional photographer and Nikon legend, founded His Light Ministries upon John 8:12 (NKJV), “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” He conducts His Light Workshops in spectacular photography locations such as Monument Valley, Utah, Glacier National Park, Montana, and The Great Oregon Coast.
Bill Fortney, His Light Ministries

— myPhotoWalk

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