Yucca Torreyi

The Torry Yucca was in vivid bloom last week in the Arizona desert near Sedona.  The bloom is about 2 feet tall.  This species was named for John Torrey (1796-1873), the Columbia University botanist, who designated this yucca as a new variety in 1859.

Arizona Desert
Arizona Desert

Sunrise Fisherman

I’m visiting my son and his family who live on Bainbridge Island, WA.  This morning we both got to do something fun.  He wanted to fly-fish in Puget Sound for salmon and I wanted to capture the sunrise.  We’re both happy.

Fae Bainbridge Park
Fay Bainbridge Park

Monument Valley B&W

Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Monument Valley

On this trip I’ve visited the Painted Desert, Canyon de Chelly, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley.  It just keeps getting better.  Having seen most of the films shot here it was very exciting to see it live .  The conditions were cloudy with some rain so even though I got out at sunset and sunrise neither lasted very long because of the weather.  So like Antelope Canyon I’m already planning another trip.  I’ll post two three or four and will start with a classic view that I took at first light.  I didn’t see John Wayne or John Ford but I was thinking of them when I took this.

Antelope Canyon Sun Beam

Antelope Canyon Arizona
Antelope Canyon Arizona
Antelope Canyon Arizona
Antelope Canyon Arizona

Here are two more from Antelope Canyon.  The first is a sun beam that appeared just at noon when the sun is directly over the canyon opening.  This is one shot many try to get and I positioned myself at this spot well in advance.  The second gives you an idea of how narrow the canyon is.  The entry if relatively large but the rest of it looks much like the second photo.  Next stop Monument Valley.

Tsé Bighánílíní

Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon

There are two places I’ve really wanted to see and photograph and I have finally been able to do it.  One of these is Antelope Canyon; the other is Monument Valley which I will post about in a couple of days.

The title of this blog is a Navajo term which means “the place where water runs through rocks” and is the subject of this photo.  It’s in the upper canyon which is also referred to as the “crack”.  These sandstone slot canyons are heavily visited and photographed.    If you’ve read reviews you’ll hear that it’s crowded with lots of people walking through making it hard for photographers.  That’s true but I didn’t care. Walking into the canyon for the first time left me speechless and in awe.

It’s dark so a tripod is a must. I changed up the settings a little depending on the amount of light filtering in through the top of the canyon but this was taken at .8 sec, f/11, and ISO at 500.

The Canyon Floor

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

After driving along the rim of Canyon de Chelly I went into the bottom the next morning.  You must have a Navajo guide take you because of the many ruins and sacred areas.  Looking up gives you a much different perspective that looking over the edge.  This shot is typical of the walls in color and shape.  In the next couple of days I’ll post a few more.

Spider Rock

Canyon de Chelly Arizona
Canyon de Chelly Arizona

The last stop of the day was at the Spider Rock overlook.  This sandstone monolith is 800 feet tall and was the highlight of day one at Canyon de Chelly.  Tomorrow I’ll be going down into the canyon,

On Top of Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly, AZ
Canyon de Chelly Arizona

From the Painted Desert we drove to Chinle to see Canyon de Chelly.  There is a paved road that follows the north side of the canyon with several turn outs allowing opportunities to shoot from above.  This was late in the afternoon and the sun and clouds created wonderful shadows.  The photos do a very good job of representing how majestic it is but one still needs to see it first hand to fully appreciate the beauty.