Photographer's Note

Monument Valley needs no introduction. Anyone who has seen a Hollywood Western has seen Monument Valley. It also features in many advertisements and brochures as well as being popular on TE.

It is a Navajo Tribal Park, just a small part of the Navajo Reservation. The road from Mexican Hat is still in Utah, but the park is over the state border in Arizona, although it uses Utah time.

There is a lot of evidence of Anasazi occupation in the form of pueblo dwellings and petroglyphs, up until about AD1300, but no-one knows when the Navajo first arrived there. The mesas and buttes were formed by uplift caused by underground pressure. Cracks and gullies resulted and erosion wore down the layers of softer rock.

We had booked a sunrise and sunset photographic tour from home. The tours take you to places that you are not allowed to go on your own. We met our Navajo Guide at 5:45am, and he took us to Totem Pole to wait for the sunrise. It was just Rob and me, but while we were there, a small group arrived on another tour, and as the sun came up, someone was playing a pipe, which sent shivers down the spine!

It is possible to view Totem Pole from the 17mile self-guided loop drive, but not this close. The butte to the right is called Yei Bi Chei. Totem Pole is 450ft tall and has been used for a car advertisement when the car was helicoptered on to the top of it.

This shot was taken at 6:30 before the sun came up and is a merged image from two different exposures. The exposure details on the left are for the foreground.(actually 20secs but that option is not available) The shutter speed for the sky was 1.3 seconds. One of the first ones I took is in total silhouette and is in the WS

ISO100, FL78mm

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Additional Photos by Kath Featherstone (feather) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7646 W: 399 N: 14391] (51130)
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