It started with this Instagram photo. A reflection of the Sears Tower in a building, and the thought that it lent itself well as a frame. I revisited this natural framing concept again on a trip to Washington, and this lighthouse photo became one of my favorite shots.
Fast forward to the first vacation of 2015 and my first trip to the Grand Canyon. As forewarned, I wasn’t ready for the scale of magnificence. Nor was I ready for the imminent danger of visiting the Grand Canyon. While I hadn’t given much thought, if any, to safety precautions for tourists, I was surprised at how close we were to the canyon’s edges. Sure, there are railings at the overhangs and main lookout points. But there are also a multitude of wide-open accesses to shear drops and gorge openings.
I, admittedly, have a paralyzing fear of heights. Or, “unprotected heights” as I like to call them. I’m fine in skyscrapers where I know a window won’t give way if I lean on it. But put me on a ladder, or the edge of a 1000-foot drop, and my knees weaken and stomach churns. Add in treacherous footing from the snow and ice of winter in the Arizona mountains, and it was even harder for me to stand close to the unprotected edges of the canyon. Further exacerbate the problem with the absolute certainty, in my mind at least, that I’ll drop my camera(phone) if I so much as consider holding it out over the railing, even if one exists, and I’m admiring the sky behind me instead of enjoying the spectacular beauty in front of me.
Which leads me, eventually, to the following photo gallery. Framing the Grand Canyon was just my way of not having to get too close to the edge. And certain death. Standing back from the canyon’s edge, I took several photos using trees and limbs as framing, with canyon walls in the background. I got brave a few times and managed to get shots down into the canyon too. But many of these “framed” shots are my favorites from the trip.