Here we are on the Rim at Bryce Canyon National Park: one of the big five national parks in Utah, USA. This is the youngest part of The Grand Staircase, which is a geologic record of 2000 million years of the Earth’s history. For elevation reference, the rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m) above sea level.
When this stranger portrait was made, it was just after I had completed a 3+ mile hiking circuit inside the main Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression beneath the Rim Trail. After walking among exquisite crimson pinnacles, passing through a slot canyon, and enjoying rare wildflowers (OMG), I needed a moment to appreciate the whole view. Only minutes earlier I was inside that scenery below.
Along came Steve, my stranger 92/100.
Like me, he was compelled to admire the fiery colored rocks in the Amphitheater.
“WOW! It’s amazing,” he exclaimed.
It really is. You can see my impression of this photogenic place by visiting my album on Flickr. The blue skies contrast perfectly with the orange-tinged stone. It. Is. Magnificent.
Then the fellow turned to me. He asked me, “Would you like your picture taken with this view?”
How’s that for a change-up with a stranger!
“Yes, please! But may I take yours first?” I asked back.
He nodded amiably and placed himself in this pose. So yes, this is totally snap-shotty. I used my chance to adjust exposure and other camera settings so all Steve would need to do is press the back-button focus and depress the shutter. At our viewpoint, there wasn’t any play for him to move backward or else he’d slip off the steep edge of the rim. I walked backward a few feet to include the wonderful background.
This portrait of Steve served as the test shot to prepare my camera for my own snapshot.
Steve is an enthusiastic tourist from Southampton, England who is standing at the rim of geologic history. Steve sports only practical gear for physical activity in the high desert climate: a water backpack, sunglasses, hat, and sweat-wicking clothes. From his home on the southern coast, 75 miles from London, he traveled more than 5,025 miles (8087 km) for this killer view.