The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular sights in the world. People have tried to capture the expansive landscape with a camera for years and years with fantastic results. And sometimes with less than stellar results.

But, with a little thought, planning and practice anyone can capture a beautiful shot of the Canyon with even the smallest point and shoot digital camera or smart phone.

Time of day is important

The colors of the rock layers in the Canyon and the sky above come alive at sunrise and sunset. Want a photo full of saturated reds, blues, oranges and magentas? Get up early or wait for the sun to set.
Photographers call the hour before sunset or after sunrise the Golden Hour because of the way the light makes landscapes come alive thanks to the low angle of the sun. Try to plan to take in a sunset or sunrise while at the Canyon. It’s beautiful and a great time to take some photos!

Location, location, location

The Grand Canyon has plenty of points and vistas that make for great pictures.
For sunrise photos try Lipan Point (South Rim), Navajo Point (South Rim), Yavapai Point (South Rim), Toroweep (North Rim), Point Imperial (North Rim), and Cape Royal (North Rim).
For sunset photos try Shoshone Point (South Rim), Lipan Point (South Rim), Navajo Point (South Rim) Yavapai Point (South Rim), Mather Point (South Rim), and Cape Royal (North Rim).

Use a tripod

As the sun sets, the landscape gets darker. If you’re using a small point and shoot digital camera, the camera will choose a slower shutter speed which can lead to blurry photos unless the camera is absolutely still. Put it on a tripod! A number of inexpensive, small tripods that fit in a backpack are available even for the smallest cameras.
Obviously, when it comes to photography, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Expensive cameras, wide angle lenses and the knowledge to use them help make fantastic photos. But that shouldn’t discourage anyone from learning how to take better photos.

After all, what really is the best camera? The one in your pocket.