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National park photo ops: When the Grand Canyon is at its grandest

The Grand Canyon drew nearly 6 million visitors in 2016. Here, throngs wait for sunrise at Mather Point on the canyon's South Rim.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park crowd onto one of the many viewpoints along Mather Point while the colors of sunrise begin to paint the sky.

Get there early, bring a flashlight and scout out your position the day before. Even so, it may take a few early mornings to get the angle and the view that you want.

Expose for the brightest colors in the sky and let the rest turn to silhouette. And be sure to bring your patience with you.

Visitors arrive by the busload, unloading hundreds of people onto the platforms at a time. My tripod was jostled a few times while I was working on a time-lapse sequence.

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On Day 2, I brought a clamp and a bungee cord and the jostling stopped.

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.

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