All of the shots I posted from my recent trip to Northern Arizona were the popular ones that most have seen or heard about. The ones I wanted in my collection. Today I thought I would post a few photos of the same areas but scenes that are not as common.
Totem Pole can be shot from the south at sunset but in order to get to it at sunrise you need a Navajo guide to take you north and west. We met at 5:30AM and took his four wheel drive off through rough roads, sand trails, and deep ravines. Then hiked a bit to get under the sand dunes in the foreground. A beautiful morning. We went on to a few other sites as well but as I mentioned in my last post the weather was not very user friendly.
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.
Canyon de Chelly has several Indian ruins and they are well protected from the tourists for obvious reasons. I was here two days and this shot is the only one where I needed a zoom lens to get “close” enough. The Anasazi people are believed to be the first to reside in the canyon and were the builders of these dwellings.
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.
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,
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.