Grand Canyon Sunrise


Sunrise in the Grand Canyon National Park at Yavapai Point. Photo sequence shot between 5:10 am and 5:57 am on Aug. 18, 2009. There was a smoke cloud coming from forest fire in Central Arizona on the eastern horizon at sunrise. Images shot with Nikon D200 using the AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 3.5-4.5G ED DX lens. Camera was on a tripod. Music is the Grand Canyon Suite first movement (Sunrise). Music depicts a sunrise with the early morning sounds of birds. The rhythm depicts the passing of the seconds before a Grand Canyon sunrise. The musical sun rises with a crescendo of cymbals and timpani.

  1. SallySatisfied

    I believe sunrise is timed to the sun popping over the ridge, as opposed to DAY arriving, which is what the music speaks to after that with all the kettle drums.
    . I think the video guy got it right, and I’ve been listening to this piece off and on since 1976. Lucky me, the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I flew to it and rim landed. OMG.

  2. mindmagic42

    Beautiful – both the music and the video!

  3. jlmusicfan57

    I wanted to add to the first comment that back in the summer of 1982 while on a bus tour of the Western USA we visited the Grand Canyon. It was spectacular. Still, I was not able to experience the sheer grandeur and spectacle of an early morning sunrise that you so beautifully captured and perfectly set to the 1st movement of this suite. I’m not going to be picky like as a few other immature comments that were posted. You did a SUPERB JOB! I want to commend and thank you for your efforts!!

  4. jlmusicfan57

    About an hour ago I heard this entire suite on a Classical FM station on the car radio and just had to seek out the composer to this beautiful work. Thanks for posting this truly breathtaking photos which captures the 1st movement to this suite perfectly!

  5. mcsas

    Nice work.

  6. sandijay4

    @TheFRiNgEguitars You are the only one who picked up on that fault. I knew the images don’t exactly show what the music depicts. Thanks for your comment.

  7. sandijay4

    @TheFRiNgEguitars Hi! I agree. When I put the video together I wanted the ending of the video to be exactly the moment that the sun rose above the horizon. That’s what the music depicts. You are correct. However, when I shoot directly into the sun with my Nikon D200, I have two choices. If I properly expose the sun, the surrounding canyon is darken out. If I expose for the canyon, the camera captures a washed out sun. Also I was concerned about damaging he camera’s sensor.

  8. TheFRiNgEguitars

    This is a great work to this famous tone poem. I must say I am sorry the end video sequence was off topic, and diappointing.. I was waiting for the full sphere of the sun to appear in all its glory. This is what the music is painting.. sorry.. if there’s any way this could be edited so the ending is what it should be. Sorry this isn’t my opinion but this is what Grofe was expressing in the music. This is expressionism at its finest, not an interpretation! … so disappointing (the ending only)

  9. omessemo

    You’re welcome and I sure enjoyed the result. The Canyon and the music pretty well speak for themselves . Hope you put more of the Canyon together with other music from the Suite.

  10. sandijay4

    @omessemo On your recommndation, I removed all but two of the annotations. Thanks for the comment.

  11. sandijay4

    Thank you all for the kind comments. Watcing the sunrise is a thrill that I will never forget.

  12. ariastoteles

    El más espectacular de todos los amaneceres, el recorrido in crescendo de una escala que se antoja absolutamente cromática, no por cluster, sino por ascendente, emotiva y brillante.

  13. ariastoteles


  14. omessemo

    Beautiful music with fantastic cinematography, wish you could issue another copy without the notes. They contribute nothing and are highly distracting.

  15. CofCGuy

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  16. sandijay4

    Small bits of the Grand Canyon Suite was at one time the most recognizable music around. It was used in movies, and radio and TV commercials.

    To set music to one of the beautiful and recognizable features of the solar system is awesome indeed!

  17. dia33386

    sandujay4: Wheuff! I had the same reaction when viewing a unbeliebably beautiful sunrise @ the Grand Canyon!
    All I could think & hear in my head was
    Ferde Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite!
    It was such an ethereal experience!
    Thank you!

  18. dia33386

    sandijay4: Beautiful vid recalling my own
    experience of finally viewing sunrise @ the Grand Canyon after so many years of loving Ferde Grofe’s magnificent “Grand Canyon Suite”
    written in 1931!

    What amazes me most is this man gave us “alternative” music long before Ray Lynch, Yanni, Jason Ward & so many others!
    Your beautiful video so brings Grofe’s
    music even more to life!

  19. Eazy2Remember

    In the summer, my best friend and i woke up, sat and watched the sunrise from the park lookout point, it was the best moment in my life, without a doubt.

    the grand canyon is truly an amazing place

  20. countrysinger1952

    We didn’t get to see the sunrise at 5:05 a.m. It was still beautiful, though.

  21. sandijay4

    Wow! Thank you for the nice comment! Sandi an II really enjoyed getting up at 2 a.m. and driving into the park to set up for the sunrise. We drove up from Flagstaff that morning. Your comments makes it all worth while. In reality, after watching the sunrise, we were both so invigorated and thrilled.

  22. countrysinger1952

    Thank you so much for posting this! You did a great job with it and the pictures are just beautiful! The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite parks and I’ve been there three times in my life. Five stars.

  23. punkseraph

    luv it! I’ve been there 2,ur viedo brought me back to my old memeories of lasy year!

  24. bothropsasper

    Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing!

  25. Q8117

    Thanks for the information.

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