Sedona and Grand Canyon Photography Trip Report of Red Rock and Summer Storms

New Fine Art Pictures of Cathedral Rock and Lightning in the Grand Canyon

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August is definitely the time to be in the Southwest with the high likelihood of great clouds and storms. The goal was to capture some great images and I was thrilled with my success.

See Related Trip Reports

Photographing Arizona and Utah in Summer

After flying into Phoenix, the plan was to spend one night in Sedona and capture one sunset and one sunrise image. For sunset, I headed south to Oak Creek to get a different view of the iconic Cathedral Rocks. At the end of a road that seemed to be going nowhere, I came across this scene with the old wooden fence with Cathedral Rocks in the background.

It may have been photographed before, but I had not seen it and decided this was where I would plant myself and wait for the soft, warm light of the setting sun behind me. The billowing cloud behind the Rocks made it all come together.

White storm clouds over Cathedral Rocks and a field with a wood fence in Sedona, Arizona
"Sedona Sunset" - Click Photo To Purchase

For sunrise, I took a chance. Cathedral Rocks have been photographed from the Slickrock Trail many times at the end of the day, but based on where the sun was going to rise to the left of them, I thought sunrise might work pretty well.

I hiked out pre-dawn, was the only one there and got the camera down low in position for the reflection in the water that was in the depression in the rock. Many images were taken, but this was the one that had the best clouds and sky. I hiked back to the car knowing it was going to be good.

Sunrise skies over Cathedral Rocks as they reflect in a small puddle in Sedona, Arizona
"Cathedral Rock Reflection" - Click Photo To Purchase

From Sedona, it was on to the Grand Canyon. The forecast did not look good for storms, but I know that can always change. I spent the first couple of days going to every overlook and learning how they would work at different times of the day.

I wanted to be able to make the right decision as to where to go for sunrise or sunset based on the clouds and what I could see on the radar images. The storms finally came and I somehow managed to be in the right place and not be struck by lightning.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most difficult places I have ever had the pleasure to photograph. This trip allowed me to learn a great deal about it. I’m already thinking about going back next August.

A view of the sun setting over the Grand Canyon at Lipan Point
"Lipan Lights" - Click Photo To Purchase

Colorful sunrise skies over the Grand Canyon at Grandview Point
"Canyon Contrast" - Click Photo To Purchase

A panoramic view of sunrise over the Grand Canyon at Grandview Point
"Ultimate sunrise" - Click Photo To Purchase

Late afternoon light and shadows at the Grand Canyon at Yavapai Point
"Yavapai Sunset" - Click Photo To Purchase

A dramatic rainstorm over the Grand Canyon being lit up by the late day sun at the same time
"Energy" - Click Photo To Purchase

The Grand Canyon rock formations being lit up by the setting sun with sunset skies
"Grandview Sunset" - Click Photo To Purchase

Morning light in the Grand Canyon lighting up just one section of the canyon
"Illumination" - Click Photo To Purchase

A panoramic view of sunrise skies over Moran Point in the Grand Canyon
"Moran Morning" - Click Photo To Purchase

Severe storm clouds with deep aqua colors over the Grand Canyon
"Underwater Canyon" - Click Photo To Purchase

A lightning strike on the rock formations in the Grand Canyon
"Canyon Strike" - Click Photo To Purchase

Next up will be Southwest Colorado for fall color scenes. It is an area that I truly love going to and have learned so much about. I’m crossing my fingers for healthy fall color and some snow on the mountains!

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