Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Before and After the Snow

A couple of last images from the Monument Valley area. This time with a little bit of the feel before and after the snow.

Both of these were taken closer to Kayenta on my drive into and out of the valley.

The first as I arrived in the area. It had been a partly cloudy day until I got close to my destination and then it clouded up and soon the snow would start.

The second was on the way out of the area. Snow was everywhere and more would fall on my way over toward Page, only to clear up just a few miles outside Page making it perfect for visiting the slot canyons, but that is for another post.

By the way, you may pick up that the same peak is in both images- look at the background of the top one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Famous View

The Mittens are one of the most famous views in the west. I cannot help but see them and envision a stagecoach racing across the desert with Indians chasing and the Ringo Kid trying to save the day.

Thanks, John Ford and John Wayne for making this place famous!

Here are a couple of views of the Mittens. One of the famous rocks. I heard these called the "Ansel Rocks" after ol Ansel Adams himself.

By the way this famous view over the two rocks.....its in the parking lot. You will not miss it.

Another image of the Mittens is with a longer lens from my campsite as a snowstorm arrived right at sunset.

What a view and what a snow storm. The top picture was actually the next morning.

Go, and if you see Ethan, Capt York, or the Ringo Kid-tell them I said hi.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What a Difference Snow Makes

Monument Valley is that iconic western landscape. Something about the red rock buttes and towers that just says the west.

It is very amazing and images seem to be everywhere. It is something to see anytime and it is something more.

Just look at these two images. Same scene. One day apart.

The red is nice. It's majestic. It's what most people see.

The winter image is just so much more. Not many people see it that way.
All I can say is wow!

I think I'll go back next trip in winter again. The conditions are colder and tougher but the landscape can be even more amazing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Camping at Monument Valley

Monument Valley is an amazing location. Monument Valley is a great location to camp at as the campground has one amazing view. Monument Valley in winter when you get snowed on is off the charts awesome.

Add it all together and to camp in Monument Valley in winter when it snows and you not only have the whole campground to yourself (ok one other person) but you are treated to one outstanding view.

As part of a winter trip to Arizona, I stayed two nights in Monument Valley. If you have seen John Ford movies or the many famous images taken here then you probably expected desert and red rocks. but in winter it take son a whole new look.

I arrived there just as the snow was starting to to lightly fall. I put my tent up and you see you have a view of the Mittens from camp.

I went about an evening of overcast sky photography. Normally I would have eaten in camp but since there are no picnic tables (you camp on what is really a few acres of just open ground) and the wind made me meet some folks up at the view cafe. After a hot meal of green chile with flatbread (pretty darn tasty) I headed back to camp and found the sky had somewhat cleared.

So I grabbed the tripod and made the second image. When I planned my Arizona trip I feared that I would have 8 days of clear blue sky and my tent in MV by night was one of the images I planned for such a situation.

Well I got lucky and was able to make the image.
And I was not to know that that was about the last clear sky I'd see in MV.

After fooling around with a few night exposures, I decided to get some sleep and to look forward to getting out in the morning.

Well when I did get out of the tent, the third image is what I found!
Talk about luck! Monument Valley in a light dusting of snow gives you both red rock and winter.

It was everything I was hoping for in a winter trip.

And it was only day one!!!