Byron Neslen Southwest Fine Art Photography


Morning at Cape Royal

The north rim of the Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places to photograph, and Cape Royal is one of my favorites spots of the canyon. I am not a morning person but many times you need to wake up early to get some great images. I had awoken up very early and drove to Cape Royal from outside the park. As I started down the path to Cape Royal I saw another vehicle pull into the parking lot and four or five photographers get out of the vehicle. I hustle down the trail because I didn’t want them to know where I had planned on shooting that morning. The location that I wanted to go to was a small trail that split off the main trail near the end. Bob, my old roommate, and I had found this location from an early visit, and had photographed from this location in the morning.

I set up my camera and waited for the sun to rise. The sky was perfect with just the right amount of clouds and the sun lit those up perfectly. The other photographers had arrived to the end of trail for Cape Royal and had set up for the morning shot also. I could see them and also hear what they were saying even though I was a little ways away from them on a piece of the rim that jetted out into the canyon just north of Wortan Throne. I took several shot of the Wortan Throne and Cape Royal. One of the other photographers had finally spotted me and said to the others that were with him that I was where they should have been also. They all agreed that they should have been where I was at but at that point it was too late because the light had already changed.

I find that many times I get my best images after I been to a location a number of times and seen how the light is at different times of the day and study out where is the best location to shot an image. The editor to Arizona Highways saw this image later on and wanted to know where I had shot that image because he had been to Cape Royal a number of times and never seen that vantage point before.