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Along The Way

Agathla Peak

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 70~200 f/2.8L lens at ISO 100.

Monument Valley lies north of the town of Kayenta. As you drive northward toward the valley you pass a most imposing butte called Agathla Peak. I've never been able to photograph it successfully.

On this trip, as we left Monument Valley to drive to the Bisti Badlands, once again I drove past Agathla (also known as El Capitan) and wondered when the best time of day and what the best angle might be to properly photograph this monoliths. The light was flat and no unique perspective presented itself. We drove on.

After gassing-up in Kayenta we turned onto Rte. 160 and started driving eastward. Just a few miles later the sky started to brighten and we saw a small ragged butte in the foreground with Agathla Peak in the background. 

I'm tremendously pleased with this photograph. It provides a unique perspective and an image that I've never seen before from a spot along a relatively heavily traveled highway.

Navajo Power Plant

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 70~200 f/2.8L lens at ISO 100.

About 3 miles east of Page, AZ on Rte. 98 is a large coal-fired power plant. It sits literally on top of Antelope Canyon. This photograph shows steam from the evaporation towers rising from behind a dip in the road. Beauty in the face of ugliness.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and Sigma 14mm f/2.8 lens at ISO 100.

Arizona abounds with surprising locations. While this looks like it might have been shot in the dunes area of Monument Valley in fact it was in a relatively unknown site which I'll call, simply, Not Monument Valley. Like many such spots it's on Navajo land. While traveling and shooting there isn't trespassing (this spot is just off a public road), it is definitely not a tourist area and thus deserves to remain as undisturbed as possible.

To help give a context and scale to the location, this photograph by Steve Kossack shows me working at around the time that I took the photograph seen immediately above. It's all a matter of perspective.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 28~35mm f/2.8L lens at ISO 100.

Like Monument Valley this location has buttes as well as substantial dunes. Unlike that more famous location, here it's possible to photograph the buttes and the dunes in the same frame.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 28~35mm f/2.8L lens at ISO 100.

Sometimes when I review my film (or as now, digital files) after a shoot I wish that I'd moved in for some detail studies. This time I saw that the very early morning light would create some fascinating abstracts and within a few minutes produced several images like this one. If you look at the central-right portion of the wider frame above you'll see the area that I was concentrating on.

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 70~200 f/2.8L lens at ISO 100.

Sedona is a very upscale town located about 2 hours north of Phoenix. The landscape around it is breathtaking and I hope to return and explore this area further another time.

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Concepts: Navajo Nation, Colorado Plateau, Camera, Canon EOS D30, Butte, Image, Inkjet printer, Time

Entities: Kayenta, Phoenix, Canon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Michael Reichmann, Agathla Peak, El Capitan, Agathla, Sedona, Steve Kossack, Arizona

Tags: Canon EOS D30, Monument Valley, photograph, buttes, Agathla Peak, unique perspective, small ragged butte, coal-fired power plant, early morning light, dunes, imposing butte, El Capitan, evaporation towers, Bisti Badlands, Kayenta, Navajo land, substantial dunes, surprising locations, Antelope Canyon, central-right portion, unknown site, best angle, fascinating abstracts, dunes area, wider frame, public road, digital files, upscale town, tourist area, best time, images, famous location, shows, monoliths, wondered, brighten, northward, trespassing, ugliness, Sedona