Monument Valley – Arizona, Utah

Besides the cactus covered mountains in southern Arizona, probably the best-known location of the American West is the Monument Valley on the border of Arizona and Utah, so we didn’t want to miss it on our Wild West road trip. The Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau, just like the Grand Canyon. The valley is a Navajo Tribal Park, a Navajo Nation equivalent to a national park. Its Navajo name is Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, which means valley of the rocks. The Monument Valley was created through erosion by water, wind and ice over millions of years. This valley boasts majestic sandstone formations called buttes at heights of 400 to 1000 feet (120-300 meters). It’s a beautiful place and very accessible too. From the visitor center, you can see the world-famous panorama of the Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte. We also drove through the park on a 17 mile (27 km) dirt road to see other formations and the mittens from a different angle. However, the best place to photograph the sunset is no doubt from the visitor center. The scenery is simply beautiful from here and not only during sunset, but it looks glamorous at twilight too. The light changed very quickly during sunset, so I used two cameras. I shot the big scene with my digital camera and a wide-angle lens, but I also wanted to photograph this magnificent location with my film camera so I used my telephoto lens with it to capture the buttes up-close. It was a great fun, I really enjoyed shooting film. I believe this classic western scenery suits film photography perfectly.

Gear: Canon EOS 7D and Canon 17-40mm F/4 lens, Canon EOS 620 and Canon 70-200mm F/4 lens, Kodak Ektar, Manfrotto tripod

This entry was posted in Nature Photography, Notes from the Field and tagged , , , .

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