By Ted Grussing
… in May and it looked to be cooking down in the canyon with lots of riffles from the wind as well as a lot of water flowing down the Colorado River. This is a shot of the Confluence, the place where the Little Colorado River merges with the Colorado River and coincidently where Marble Canyon ends and the Grand Canyon begins. The Colorado River is flowing from left to right and the Little Colorado is flowing from top to bottom. The Little Colorado was running a beautiful turquoise color which is as a result of the highly mineralized water from Blue Springs entering the river bed about eight or so miles upstream.
You only see this color when there has been no meaningful flow of water upstream of the springs as otherwise the very muddy water that flows in the river overwhelm the small amount of water from the springs. I also have photos where the water looks like milk chocolate … the turquoise color is better though. Blue Springs produces about 220 cubic feet of water per second and I think it is likely that it is a copper carbonate that produces the color. This is where the river rafting groups arrive on the third day on the river … I prefer my one plus hour flight and the view from on top.
The canyon is something over 4,000’ deep here and the river bed about two thousand feet MSL and my minimum altitude is 10,000’ MSL so I am roughly a mile and a half above the confluence, not down in the canyon … only looks that way. Currently the Little Colorado River is flowing at 405 ft3/second and running daily average is 224 ft3/second; by contrast the Colorado River is flowing at 11,700 ft3/s and daily average is 8,810 ft3/s so you can see the contrast. You can check on real time river and stream flow in Arizona at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/az/nwis/current/?type=flow . I check it every time I fly up there. It can also be a help if you are going out hiking, fishing or whatever.
‘twas a good day, visits with friends, lots of opal finished including some of the most beautiful Conk (opal in wood) I have ever cut … screaming colors coming out of all the cells webbed by wood. That will be the photo tomorrow night; gem photography is fun and no little challenge getting them to look in an image like they do in real life. The human eye has it every time and no matter how good the camera, it will always take some tweaking and various techniques to get the image to look like what you would see in person. Perhaps some flying, the afternoon is devoted to making chili for the ISO 100 group that will be over tomorrow night and I guess that will be the day.
A friend asked me tonight which I was better at, gem cutting or photography and which I liked better. I have been a gem cutter and jewelry designer for something in excess of 37 years and a professional photographer for longer than that. I love them both and think I’m probably equally good at both … then there is soaring and powered flight … wax carving for gem settings and just a whole bunch of other things … couldn’t choose and wouldn’t want to choose … they are all fun and require a skill set which is always improving. Then there is law and I loved that too … perhaps next lifetime I’ll choose one thing and be an adult … nope, can’t see that happening either.
Drink fine coffee too … roast your own and buy from my friend Jon Burman at: http://burmancoffee.com
Have a terrific day, share your joy and never, ever, let yourself grow up … always explore and challenge yourself … and smile
Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;
and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.
And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life;
and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may
the evenings twilight find me gentle still.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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