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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifty Eight: Man and nature -- expressing our relationship with the environment > Risk, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2009
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Risk, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2009

Risk, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2009

These tourists have left the safety of the canyon’s rim walk, and climbed out on to the rocky precipice hanging over the gorge for a better view. On one hand, it is always frightening to see visitors take such risks. Every year, I read about people who fall hundreds of feet to their deaths from such rocks as these. On the other hand, I found considerable meaning in this scene. The figures are so small, dwarfed by the immensity of the buttes and cliffs in the background. I used a medium telephoto focal length telephoto lens (250mm) to compress the scene and bring the opposing cliffs closer to the onlookers. However, I did not want to push my zoom too far, and lose the tremendous sense of scale incongruity here. This scene puts man into play with nature itself. The figures here are small and nature is immense. They are young, and nature here is old – very old. They seem utterly relaxed, yet they unknowingly risk all for the sake of an evening commune with the natural world.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
1/160s f/5.0 at 120.0mm iso250 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Phil Douglis22-Apr-2009 19:18
It is the immensity of the view that makes the risk these people are taking seem even greater. Thanks, Alina, for expressing this connection.
Alina22-Apr-2009 01:09
The young people took a risk to climb the rocks and you Phil took an excellent picture of them. The view is immense
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