Horseshoe Bend – Page, Arizona
My wife, Denise, and I were taking a photo safari through the Southwest U.S.: Grand Canyon, Page (Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Antelope Canyon slot canyons, Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge. We had come back from a rafting trip down the Colorado River on a nice, sunny day and were in our hotel room about an hour before sunset. I knew that we were a short drive and about a one mile hike from the spot in the photo, looking down on the bend. This is looking down on the Colorado River where it makes a 270° turn. The problem was that sky had gone leaden gray. Figuring I came a long way for a chance to shoot unique vistas, I packed up the D300, a tripod, the Nikon DX ED 18-200VR, and the Tokina Pro DX 11-16mm f/2.8.
Overcoming some mild acrophobia and slippery sandstone, I set up my tripod in the position above and a couple others. To my surprise and delight, as the sun began to set, the cloud cover began breaking up also. Despite that, there were low-hanging clouds. I had about 30 seconds to get the shot above, on tripod with the ultra-wide 11-16 lens. I stopped down to f/18 to get the rays of the setting sun and ISO 640 for the waning light (which is about the D300’s limit).
I added a little saturation in post-processing, but that was about it. To this day, and after tens of thousands of shots, I still consider this my best.