Saturday 23 May 2020

The Grand Canyon twenty-five years ago. In black and white.

In 1995 I spent two weeks walking in the Grand Canyon, one of the most intense and fulfilling trips I've ever done. I've been to the Himalayas, the Alps, the Rockies and more and all are impressive but none startled and shook me as much as the Grand Canyon.

In a piece I wrote about the walk that appears in my book Out There I wrote "I still feel in awe of it. The Grand Canyon is the most incredible place I have ever been".

Those feelings returned unexpectedly when I was sorting through old photographs, one of my lockdown activities, and discovered some black and white prints of the trip. I had forgotten I'd even taken them. Here's a selection.

Photography note. My camera for these prints was a Nikon FM2 SLR. Lenses were Nikkor 24mm, Nikkor 75-150mm and Sigma 28-70mm. Film was Ilford FP4 Plus. I photographed the prints with my Sony NEX 7 with Sony E 35mm lens and processed the raw files in Lightroom. If I developed the negatives again I could probably get better results. I may get round to that one day!

I also had a Nikon F801, which I used for colour slides.


  1. Oh how wonderful Chris.. Thanks for sharing. Yet more inspiration in these frustrating times.

  2. Great photos Chris;all the best from Mark & Helen xxx

  3. It is strange how different people find places. I found the Grand Canyon the least favorite of all the places I have backpacked in the American west. I spent a week in a remote part of the canyon. I don't know, I just found the High Sierras and the Canadian Rockies much more beautiful for example. I'm still glad I did the trip. It is certainly like no other place I have been, I'll give it that, but I did not enjoy the trip or find it beautiful. Perhaps it is my fear of heights and general dislike of desert hiking. I just did not like a lot of the trails we were on, too much exposure for my tastes and I just missed trees. I've enjoyed my mountain trips out west much, much more.

    1. It is interesting how we all find places. I must admit 'beautiful' isn't one of the first adjectives I think of regarding the Grand Canyon and I can see it is more appropriate for the High Sierra and the Rockies, both places I love, especially the forests and lakes. 'Spectacular' seems better for the Grand Canyon. I do love desert hiking though and with the Canyon I love the changing terrain as you descend from the forests on the rim to the desert at the bottom.