Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 2: Monochrome

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Canyon Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 – Color

I’ve heard it said that at Grand Canyon National Park your widest lens isn’t wide enough and your longest lens isn’t long enough, no matter how wide-angle or telephoto those lenses might be. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times, and each time I’ve felt that way. The place is amazing, yet it seems difficult to do it justice with a camera.

The canyon is huge! The national park is almost 2,000 square miles. The Colorado River traverses 277 miles through it. At its deepest point (or, really, the highest part of the rim to the river) is 6,000′. The longest stretch across rim-to-rim is 18 miles. It’s hard to effectively portray this scale in a photograph.

The Grand Canyon is the most photographed landmark in Arizona and one of the most photographed places in America, with tens of thousands of images created within the park daily. The task of creating something that’s photographically unique is nearly impossible. I’m sure that there are hundreds of pictures that look almost identical to mine. One has to spend significant time within the park, as well as exercise the creative mind, in order to capture something different than what’s already been done before.

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

I was attempting art with some of the photographs that I captured at the Grand Canyon. Other images were family snapshots meant simply for memories. There’s a difference between interpreting and documenting. Both are valid and serve different purposes, and they each take a different approach to accomplish. In this article you’ll find both.

I used my Fujifilm X100F for most of these pictures, which are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The Acros Film Simulation makes for exceptional monochrome images, and I used my Acros and Acros Push-Process film simulations for these X100F images. I used my Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens for three of these pictures, which are also camera-made JPEGs. I used the Monochrome film simulation, which isn’t as good as Acros, but the X-A3 doesn’t have Acros so I couldn’t use it.

I love black-and-white photography, and Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to create monochrome images. I look forward to returning. Grand Canyon is a special place, and it’s been much too long between visits. Maybe next time I can stay a little longer.

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Kids Approaching The Rim – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Maricopa Point – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M 

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Canyon Juniper – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Boy Riding Backwards – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Strapped In Her Stroller – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy of Window Shopping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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From Behind Glass – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Two Young Explorers – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree Over Arch – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Of Light & Shadow – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Grand – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Scraggly Tree At Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking West From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Watchtower Sun – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Desert Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Telescoping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon River – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Sky Above The Canyon Below – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Grand View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Heavenly Sky – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Passed By – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 1: Color

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Grand Canyon From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

A couple of weeks ago my family and I jumped in the car and made the long drive to Grand Canyon National Park. From my house to the hotel we booked in Williams, Arizona, was nine hours of driving, not including stops. We left early and arrived late, weary from the road. Really, it was too many hours in the car for one day, but we only had a short time for this adventure, so we pushed through to our destination.

The next day we got back in the car and drove 45 minutes to Tusayan, the tiny town right outside the entrance of the national park, and had some breakfast. After our bellies were full, and with cups of hot coffee, we continued the short trek to Grand Canyon Village and to the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times before, and the reaction for first-time visitors, as well as those who haven’t been in awhile, is the same: “Whoa!” That first look is always awe-inspiring and breathtaking. It just appears so impossibly grand! Everything seems so small and insignificant in comparison. It really is the magic of this incredible place.

We walked along the Rim Trail for awhile, stepping into some of the historic lodges and buildings along the way. We encountered the Bright Angel Trail and headed down, but only to the tunnel, which is probably about a mile trek round-trip. Someday I’d like to hike all the way to the bottom, but this wasn’t the trip for that.

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Grand Sight – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Lunch was at the Harvey House Cafe. Then we headed to the car to drive around and see more sights. Heading east on Highway 64, we made it to Desert View and saw the Watchtower, which is at the eastern end of the park. On the way back towards the village we stopped at a few overlooks. It was approaching dinner, so we said goodbye to Grand Canyon National Park and traveled back to Williams.

I cannot say enough how amazingly beautiful Grand Canyon National Park is! If I had more time I would have made sure to be there for sunrise and sunset. This was just a quick visit, so I missed both golden hours. Early the next morning we left for home, which is near Salt Lake City, Utah. We encountered some winter weather, so the drive back ended up being longer than the drive out. To say that we were happy to be home when we arrived close to midnight would be a huge understatement. It was two full days of being crammed in the car just to be at the Grand Canyon for one day, but it was completely worth it!

For these photographs I used a Fujifilm X100F and a Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens. The X100F was great because it fit into my jacket pocket and captured wonderful pictures with ease. The X-A3 with the Jupiter lens was bulky and heavy and became tiresome carrying around my neck, but it allowed me to capture some images that I simply couldn’t with the other camera. When you travel, smaller and lighter is almost always better, but sometimes something more is needed.

These are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and I used Velvia, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Std, and PRO Neg. Hi film simulations. Not editing the pictures saved me tons of time, and both cameras did an excellent job thanks to Fujifilm’s fine JPEG engine, which I rely heavily on. If I had post-processed RAW files instead, the results wouldn’t be much different to what you see here, except that I’d still be sitting in front of the computer editing them. Instead, they were finished before I even got home, and you’re able to enjoy them today.

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Kids At The Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Amanda, Johanna & I – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – captured by Joy Roesch

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Kids On Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Evergreen Tree & Red Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Behind The Pines – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Grand Canyon Railway – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Lamp In The Lodge – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hopi Art – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Unforgiving Environment – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Colorado River of Green – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Red Canyon Walls – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Light Over A Barren Landscape – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Get Your Gifts On Route 66 – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Gifts – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheap Room – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Bistro – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Drink Coke – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Steaks & BBQ – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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BBQ & Coke – Williams, AZ – X100F

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Fire In The Sky – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Spiked Cactus – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids At Moqui Cave – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Anderson Mountain – Paragonah, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 2 – B&W