Channeling My Inner Josef Muench

Grand Canyon at Dawn
Grand Canyon at Dawn, Arizona. December 2, 1985.

It was a beautiful winter morning and Bob (my brother-in-law and photo buddy) and I were up long before sunrise to capture the early morning light at the Grand Canyon. It was our good fortune that it had snowed a bit overnight. The light was beautiful. With the coming of the sun the snow disappeared, as did the magic of the light.

In this article I describe my long and appreciative admiration for three generations of Muench photographers. They have been inspiring me for decades.  It began when I was a teenager growing up in Colorado. I found Josef Muench’s beautiful Colorado landscapes in Colorful Colorado magazine and as each issue came out I eagerly looked through it to see if any of his images were in that issue.

Moran Point, Grand Canyon National Park by Josef Muench.

Josef Muench was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States. He first discovered Arizona in 1936 and said “When I first saw the desert I liked it. It was new and different. It immediately took on a meaning to me. I had heard it was barren. It isn’t. A little cactus–so delicate and beautiful, can hide from you. You have to go slowly, and look carefully.” Two years later he met with the editor of Arizona Highways and a life long photographer/magazine relationship was born.

Josef Muench, Pro Techniques of Landscape Photograhy

I always liked looking at beautiful photos and I took some occasional snapshots with a Kodak Instamatic camera. But it was 20 years after I was a teenager pouring over Colorful Colorado that I became serous about creating nice quality images. One of the books I acquired to improve my skills is by Josef Muench. In December 1985 it all came full circle as I found myself standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and channeling my inner Josef Muench.

If you have not been to the Grand Canyon, it should be very high on your priority list of places to go.

Originally posted February 6, 2021. Updated and expanded January 20, 2022.

Series Link

Series: Channeling My Inner . . .  –  some of the photographers who inspire me

More inks

A short biography of Josef Muench

Photography books by David and Marc Muench, Josef’s son and grandson, are in this section of my Amazon powered photography store.