Colorado landscapes: Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon 1  

I introduce our next destination in Colorado with some lines that I found in the National Park brochure.

“Some are longer, some are deeper, some are narrower, and a few have walls as steep, but no other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness, and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison”,     Wallace Hansen, Geologist

It is indeed an awesome canyon, carved by the Gunnison River. The river loses more elevation within the 48 miles of the Black Canyon than the 1,500-mile Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans.  The gorge is over 800 meters deep and very little sunlight reaches the bottom. The only things that give a sense of scale in my first image are the border stones of the view point on the other side of the canyon, which are about a kilometer away (5/8 of a mile).

Black Canyon 2


Yes, someone may find a little light in every little crack in these rocks by employing multiple exposures and merging them to a High Dynamic Range photo. I personally prefer to expose strictly for the highlights and use the shadows as an element in the composition of my photo. But that is just me…:-)   The setting sun reveals the structure of these step walls and I consider us very lucky to have such great light the first evening after our arrival in the National Park. More to come...