Monday May 3, 2010
After a restful night sleep under the stars in my one man tent, I was awoke 5 minutes before my alarm clock — as usual. It never fails. I always beat my alarm clock by 5 minutes. I wonder what would happen if I set my clock to be 5 minutes fast?
I drove to the rim of the canyon, and listened to the radio until sunrise was near. It was a chilly morning. The temperature dropped to the low 30’s overnight. The winds were calm, unlike the previous afternoon.
With my light meter in hand, I watched the sunrise unfold before me. I metered the scene before sunrise, and after sunrise. This gave me an idea for how long my exposures would need to be. The answer? Long. Even with full sunlight, I was 5 second or longer. A successful photo would require absolutely no wind. Even the slightest breeze could shake my camera, and result in a blurry photo. This would not be much of a problem, since mornings are often calm.
After seeing where the sun would rise, and metering the scene, I headed back to camp for breakfast. I had many hours to kill until I could setup my camera. It is nearly impossible to accurately setup a large format camera in the darkness of dawn. Even if I could see the image on the ground glass well enough to setup my camera, I still wouldn’t have enough time to carefully consider the composition, and set everything up. It is far easier for me to setup my camera in the afternoon the day before. I can spend an hour or more determining the composition, then cover it up and head back to camp for the evening.
My goal for today was to setup the camera in the last few hours of daylight. This meant that I had most of the day to explore, and relax.
After breakfast, I drove to the trailhead northeast of the campground. Here, you can walk toward the cliffs to the East of the gulley that separates toroweap from the other areas up stream. It was a pleasant hike, but I can’t say that I found anything I was inspired to shoot.
I headed back to camp for lunch, then read a book for several hours.
Before I knew it, the time had come to setup my camera. I headed to the rim with my 8×10 camera, and a normal 300mm lens. I settled on a horizontal composition. I’m not 100% confident in this composition, but I will not know for sure until the film is back from the lab. After setting up the camera, it was time for dinner, more of my book, then another brilliant night under the stars.