View Full Version : North Rim Grand Canyon AIR

Robert Langham
25-Feb-2016, 13:00
Was slated to be on the South Rim two years ago...many changes in the program. Just now got a date for the North Rim: June 1-13. They cut us from three weeks to two. South Rim program currently closed.

I can close my eyes and see that blue light down in the canyon after sunset.

25-Feb-2016, 13:29
Could you explain what this is please? I am planning to visit the area around that time coming from the UK and am interested in visiting the North Rim (in preference to the South).


Leszek Vogt
25-Feb-2016, 14:14
I think Robert is talking about Artist-in-Residence program. Indeed, I always prefer the N. Rim to the South.


Drew Wiley
25-Feb-2016, 14:37
There still might be snow around the North Rim in June. That would be a boon photographically, but could also limit car access to certain spots. And dress accordingly. It's a lot higher than the south rim, and at times can be plagued by fog, when you can't see into the Canyon at all, though fingers of fog can be
lovely in themselves against the rim. There isn't as much available in supplies on the north either, so take most of this with you, cause it's quite a drive to
anywhere, and Jacob Lake is basically just a resort.

Robert Langham
25-Feb-2016, 15:58
Sorry, should have been more detailed. It is an Artist-in-Residence. Last at North Rim in 2009. Drew has the details and knows the ground. It's higher, cooler, forested, plenty of people but less by far than the South Rim. Historic lodge there with dining and a bar. Only open part of the year due to road closing by snow. They put us up in a nice little cabin right on the rim, I hear. Two weeks isn't long, on a location like that. Several places on my list to go to specifically.

Love to hear any suggestions.

Robert Langham
1-Apr-2016, 20:03
June 1-13 are my dates. Got the map memorized. Pulled out negatives and proofs from a 2009 trip and looked at what I saw then last night. Getting a general plan together. Only one artist will be there before me and it's a man and woman team. Hope to get a chance to talk to them when they are on the ground and see what conditions are like.

Mark Sampson
3-Apr-2016, 18:11
Well, I'm jealous! Glad to see you getting the opportunity- I'm sure you'll make the most of it. And I hope to see some results down the road.

Robert Langham
24-Apr-2016, 08:56
Part of the prep is trying...(so far), to contact someone who has been AIR at North Rim recently. 10 emails, Facebook messages, website comments....with one guy replying, though we can't seem to get in sync. This is harder than you might think. I would love to talk to the couple that are going to be there immediately in front of us just for logistical help. At Hubbell, I was missing a spatula, with a whole fresh egg chicken farm just a few yards away. Tougher to find a spatula on the rez than you might think. That kind of stuff.

Robert Langham
25-Apr-2016, 16:42
Finally talked to one artist from a previous year and got several very useful tips. They needed extra blankets a couple of nights in August and that Kanab was the closest grocery store. Also found out that the park service actually gives you a green park ranger shirt to wear on official occasions that has an "artist-in-residence" name badge. That's a new one on me. She said if you wore it out on the trails you got all kinds of questions about snakes and bathroom locations.

Robert Langham
12-May-2016, 07:02
I have a Toyo T-600mm bought with this trip in mind. I've used it once. Works. Sharp. I have a 450 Nikon I use often and this is a little more push than that. We'll see. Starting to stack things up.

First AIRs are a pair of artists who will be starting May 15th. Patrick Keesey and Tina Hejimanek. Glad not to be the first. Was last at the North Rim in June of 2010.

Drew Wiley
12-May-2016, 08:52
The nip in the morning air just makes you feel more alive. But yeah, long lenses can give a different feel to otherwise very familiar subject matter. They will also
allow you to home in on details dancing in and out of the fog, if that happens to be present, as it often is at the North Rim. But I'm prejudiced, since I do most of
my work with long lenses anyway. Remember to live the moment. I ain't all about just bagging the shots. That's a wonderful area to just feel alive in all that clean air.

13-May-2016, 06:31
If you haven't already, please read Michael Patrick Ghiglieri book, "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon". Everybody venturing into the canyon should read this first.

13-May-2016, 08:08
I would love to be part of this some day, or over the summer while in school, great opportunity! I don't have any LF images to share, all mine were either Kodachrome from 2010 or 6x7 Velvia50/Provia100f (and some PanF+) from 2011. Need to get back there. But having the right gear, don't skimp on ultra light, and ultra warm. Down everything, not synthetic, and good rain gear too. But yea, that sounds amazing. Good luck!

Robert Langham
25-May-2016, 09:43
Starting to check items off my list and get ready to kick off. Three days travel from Tyler to North Rim. Monday is a holiday. God willing will be in Santa Rosa, NM that night.

Kirk Gittings
25-May-2016, 11:22
Have a great trip! I'm heading tomorrow to the canyons of downtown Chicago.

Robert Langham
28-May-2016, 14:43
Craig Childs mentioned that he's only seen the shade of blue in the Grand Canyon after dusk in another place: Manhatten Island among the buildings. I know you'll have your usual splendid time up in the Windy City.

Hoping to post here some. The staff warns the connections are lousy, so we'll see. Also on my Facebook page and at Robert Langham on blogspot. Surely something will get out.

Robert Langham
2-Jun-2016, 13:47
Starting to walk about and block shots. 8000 feet. Nice little cabin. Internet service very selective. Passing out the cards. Met a woman who was AIR in 2011. Great folks.

Blogging about it over at RobertLangham.blogspot.


Classic view from North Rim.

Robert Langham
6-Jun-2016, 14:33
Warm days up on the rim. Cooler mornings and nights. One lecture down at the main lodge. So far just cloudless skies. Getting to meet many folks. Big cameras always draw a crowd.

Shot an interior....in a cave! Committed to bigger shots. Many long views off the rim. So far, very light to blue filtration.




Robert Langham
16-Jun-2016, 06:12
1197 miles to get home. Long run. Unpacked and made coffee in my own kitchen this morning. The dog is back in her territory and settling in. Stack of mail waiting, et. Don't feel like I shot much but the unloaded film boxes feel heavy.

Drove across the Hopi Reservation on the road that winds between Orabi and Second Mesa. The view of the horizon line to the South over Orabi with the mesa and the desert below pockmarked by ancient agriculture somehow is stuck inside my imagination. No photographs allowed..and I have never seen that image, but it is one of the most striking vistas I've ever seen. Desolate and exciting place.

Drew Wiley
16-Jun-2016, 08:55
Congrats on a fun and productive time! Hopefully you'll discovered an interesting drive back too.

Robert Langham
20-Jun-2016, 05:20
Forget Josephs in Santa Rosa.....go down the street a bit more for the Comet.

20-Jun-2016, 06:57
Warm days up on the rim. Cooler mornings and nights. One lecture down at the main lodge. So far just cloudless skies. Getting to meet many folks. Big cameras always draw a crowd.

Shot an interior....in a cave! Committed to bigger shots. Many long views off the rim. So far, very light to blue filtration.



I really like #3. Normally I want to see crystal clear views of the canyon, but somehow this one really appeals. I expect a real print, excuse me, an actual print, will do it much justice.

Alan Klein
20-Jun-2016, 07:59
My wife and I might be touring the Southwest during Oct 15-30th. What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to the South rim vs. the North rim during this period?

Drew Wiley
20-Jun-2016, 09:23
The North Rim will likely have the quaking aspen turning color sometime in Sept or Oct, plus the distinct possibility of some snow on the ground, but it's a LONG drive for the gamble, with the distinct risk of the aspen already being bare, and maybe even the road closed due to snow. Very few facilities will be open, and some of the towns en route can be distinctly hostile to outsiders. As usual, always always always have sleeping bags, warm gear, and extra food and water along. It can get seriously cold in that part of the world. The south rim is much more developed with ample accommodations, gas, and supplies, yet will be past the obnoxious summer tour bus season with its mobs. If you seek fall color in that neighborhood, you'll have San Francisco Peaks and Walnut Canyon near Flagstaff. So my recommendation is obviously the somewhat lower South Rim that time of year. But if you do decide on the North Rim instead, just keep your options open, and if it doesn't work out, you can head north up toward Kanab and classic Utah red rock country, including potentially dropping into Zion Park.

Robert Langham
20-Jun-2016, 13:55
Depends on where else you are going. Oct 15 is generally regarded as the closing date at the North Rim, though things do go on on through November for staff. October can be warm in the region depending on altitude. In my opinion, North Rim vastly preferable to the South, but is off the beaten path. 205 miles from North to South Rim.

Page, Bluff, Moab, Monument Valley, et, all on the North and East side of the Grand Canyon. Canyon de Chelly to the East Where are you flying in?

21-Jun-2016, 02:03
I was at the North Rim 2 weeks ago and loved the area. Was only there for 1 1/2 days and I had to stay at Jacob's Lake 50 miles away. Would have loved to have stayed a night closer at the lodge but that was all that was available when I booked even back in February. The distance scenes were very hazy but I liked the views from the drive to Point Imperial but did not make it to Cape Royal. I did bit of a hike down on the Supai trail and also part of the Widforss trail from which found a nice viewpoint to where I returned late afternoon to try and get the lower sun, the only shots I took. I would have liked to have experienced very early morning and evening but you need to be stay closer to enjoy that. I also forgot about 2 forest roads I read about when planning my trip about halfway between Jacob Lake and the rim which give you two other view points.

I also liked the meadow and forest driving toward the rim and the the fact that with the extra height compared to the South rim there are a many more trees. I drove the South Rim road and the views are more open but didn't stop in the centre, actually the parking was full and after the peacefulness of the North the large crowds was not for me.

From another forum I got some tips for photo scenes around Flagstaff and drove from there to Leup one late afternoon. The sun was behind reflecting off the straw coloured grass contrasting with dark clouds and rain in the distance with light highlighting a distant canyon top. I was crying to find a spot to stop and photograph and finally did get one.

I loved Canyon de Chelly, it's on a more manageable scale, the Grand Canyon is quite foreboding. I would have loved to have stayed there at least another night too and do a guided trek in the morning. The colours are lovely with the contrast of the green, winding valley floor. Thunderbird Lodge is in a pleasant, relaxing setting just at the start the rim drive. Well worth visit and took many more photos.

Robert Langham
29-Jun-2016, 07:32
The North Rim Lodge is almost always booked....but almost always has cancellations. Some friends came out to see us through the middle of my AIR- they had to book at Jacobs Lake, but by the time they arrived I had put together a complete stay at the lodge, (in the same room even), just by cobbling it together one night at a time out of cancellations. You can also camp free in "dispersed camping" along many of the roads in the National Forest there.

Robert Langham
29-Jun-2016, 07:59
Film not finished. Just starting some proofing.

Point Imperial.

Cape Royal.

Robert Langham
2-Jul-2016, 08:45
Looks like I labeled those exactly backwards.

This is my last day there working just off the Bright Angel Trail.

2-Jul-2016, 09:46
Looks like a good trip Robert, we're glad you came to AZ!

Randy Moe
2-Jul-2016, 10:05
I get vertigo just looking at that. But I must say I am far better since the Stent.

Looks like I labeled those exactly backwards.

This is my last day there working just off the Bright Angel Trail.