Walhalla Overlook, Grand Canyon, USA by Mark Hackmeier

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The unexpected can sometimes give us the best opportunities. I spent about a week shooting at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The last day was getting tough after getting up everyday at 4 AM and continuing to shoot until I lost the light. On the last day, exhausted, I packed my gear and started to hike back when I happened to look to my right and was startled. There stood the silhouette of a lonely dead but still majestic tree. It was at the foot of Walhalla Overlook at the edge of a 1,000 foot deep canyon.

I ran to the spot like a crazy man, quickly setting up my tripod and camera just as the sun was disappearing below the horizon. As I ran, my mind was racing, trying to decide what camera settings to use. I knew I only had seconds to take several shots at different settings before the light would disappear below the horizon. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is the least crowded area but is only open in the summer. You can fly into Las Vegas, Nevada and rent a car for the four hour drive. Reservations should be made a year in advance if possible.

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