Sunset, Grand Canyon, Arizona

SEPTEMBER 2003 – The North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona shortly before sunset, seen from the Yavapai viewpoint on the South Rim. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

In 2003, we spent two nights at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The weather had been perfect for the past couple of days, and so we were able to experience a stunning sunset at the Yavapai viewpoint on the South Rim.

Basically, this location offers two key photo opportunities during sunset: One towards East, showing the North Rim in the dark glowing orange colors with some really harsh shadows, and just a very short walk away (right next to the Yavapai Geology Museum) a view towards West – straight into the setting sun. I had to make a decision and opted for the first option.

I figured that it was much more difficult to achieve a stunning result when shooting straight into the the setting sun. You know, these were the days of slide film, and I did not want to spend half a roll of film on different exposure settings to get one decent shot. But even if exposed correctly, the Canyon in the foreground would be impressive for sure but would not show enough details as it would simply be dipped into the shadows.

So I took a couple of shots towards East shortly before sunset and then ran over to the other location and tried my best to capture the setting sun. And failed, if I remember correctly.

I think my shot (towards East) works very well, at least for me. I cropped the top and the bottom of the image to achieve a panorama style. There’s more sky, and more rocks, in the original slide.

The high resolution image

Capture Date12-SEP-2003
LocationGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, Adobe RGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Size3830 x 2497 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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