By Ted Grussing
Saturday morning, I woke early and was in the air by 7A and on my way to begin re-shooting the Grand Canyon with my Canon 5DsR 50MP camera. For this flight I used the 24-70 F2.8 lens as the goal was to get large airscapes as opposed to close in shots of different features. One of my favorite places at the canyon is the Confluence of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River. When there has been no water flow in the Little Colorado at the Cameron measuring station for several days the mineral rich water from Blue Springs has a chance to coat the river bottom and the water itself takes on a turquoise color.
The flow from Blue Springs on this day was 218 cubic feet per second and the Colorado was running a beautiful deep green and 19,500 cubic feet per second. The Little Colorado drains the White Mountains, flows north and west through the high desert and when it has a water flow it picks up a lot of dust and silt which makes the water very muddy and Grand Falls which is about 40 or 50 miles east of here is essentially a mud falls, very chocolatey color and it over powers the water from the springs and the water in this image would appear a very nice chocolate color … I like this better.
The point overlooking the Confluence on the left is Cape Solitude and is accessible via trail from Desert View off picture on the left and is a 20+ hour 30-mile hike. I can imagine how beautiful it would be to sit on that point and look down and out. The point to the right of the confluence above center right side is where there have been plans to build a resort and tramway down to the river at the confluence; currently that project has been stopped, but not dead. The confluence is where the Grand Canyon begins and Marble Canyon ends … if they do go ahead with the project called Escalade (Google it) I would suggest having huge neon signs on either side of the river welcoming people to the Grand Canyon compliments of Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola – they could have a bidding war to see who gets the most prominent placement.
Looking straight ahead and beyond the confluence is the North Rim and above that the South Rim; I was at 11,000’ when I took this so although the North Rim is about a thousand feet higher than the South Rim you can see over it. The Lodge on the South Rim is in about 20% from the left edge of the image. Elevation of the rivers at this point is about 2,700” MSL, the rim about 6,500’MSL putting me more than a mile and a half above the water.
I sent this image to my friend Andrea for use in an upcoming Philosophy in the Public Interest Salon … along with the image I posed the question, that if mankind were as advanced as we are now during the time the Grand Canyon was being formed, would we have intervened to stop this incredible scarring of the landscape via massive erosion? Would we have turned it over to the US Army Corp of Engineers to find a way to prevent this huge alteration of the surface to try and maintain the status quo, or would we have had the foresight to allow nature to take its course as happened? Things change on this little planet and we have little to do with it. Is it wise to try and maintain the status quo in … ?
When I took off yesterday morning the canyons looked very reminiscent of the photos I took of the Slide Fire in 2014. The USFS and the various groups involved in the four forest restoration project are using fire to thin the forests and as the argument goes, that is the natural way it was prior to the decision to suppress all fire … the problem is that when this was occurring there was no significant human population in the area and now there are hundreds of thousands of people in the area and many are adversely affected by the smoke. So what to do? Those who want to burn have control and the EPA is largely ineffective in protecting humans. Perhaps studies will be done such as they did in Washington to determine the impact on us … then there will be a balancing … which outcome is more important … it could be used as a way to manage population levels too. :+)
I had planned to get up at 4A (less than an hour and a half from now) to get in the air by 5:30A and go shoot the glassy waters of Lake Powell in early morning hours … ain’t going to happen. Maybe a later morning flight to shoot the eastern areas of the Flagstaff Volcanic Field … maybe Coal Canyon too. Oh well, maybe I just need to skip sleep one night :+)
Have a beautiful day … give thanks for being here now … we can enjoy each moment and each person we meet in life … and smile
And lastly give sweet sleep
Closed sight, no fright
That fears will o’er me creep;
And now a last goodnight.
— 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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