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What a fantastic trip around Arizona! There are a lot of new images to share with you but I'll start in Monument Valley for now. This was my second visit to the iconic area located along the Arizona - Utah border and I was determined to make the most of it.
When I revisit an area or a building for a second (or third or fourth) time I strive to make new photographs. I may utilize some similar vantage points (whether by choice or necessity) but I want the images to look and feel different from what I shot before. While that is not always possible it is always my goal.
Unfortunately on this trip I wasn't able to book a private sunset or camping tour which meant I was going to be pretty isolated to the standard (yet still quite amazing) view from the visitor's center. This happened to be the case on my first visit as well. As we arrived in the middle of the afternoon I was a bit disappointed since the conditions were nearly identical to my first visit and less than appealing. I had hoped for some clouds to add some drama to the skies but when we arrived there wasn't a cloud to be seen for miles. My best hope for a photo would be for the sky to pop as the sun set.
As luck would have it the visitor's center is located on a small cliff overlooking the valley itself. I knew that as the sun sets to the west the cliff's shadow would slowly creep across the valley floor and swallow the towering buttes. I hoped that some of the dust kicking around would help bring some color to the scene.
I started shooting from this spot about an hour before the sun went down. I loved the long shadows the buttes and mesas were casting but I kept hoping for more color to arrive. My patience was finally rewarded about 3 minutes before the sun dipped below the horizon. As the last light kissed the tops of the monuments, the valley turned dark, and the sky finally popped.
I love the ways the pink sky play against the blue hues of the valley and the way the orange stone really pops. It was a lesson once again to never give up on a sunset. These colors lasted for less than 2 minutes but because of planing and persistence I captured the shot I was looking for.