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Why and How: Photographing Canyon de Chelly in Arizona

If you have the opportunity to travel in the southwestern United States to photograph the mineral landscapes, I suggest you spend some time in the Canyon de Chelly in the state of Arizona.

You will take pictures of absolutely beautiful mineral landscapes that will enchant your friends and family when you return home.

In this article, I will explain why photographing the Canyon de Chelly is not as easy as it seems. I give you some tips on how to create interesting pictures that are different from the ones you have already taken.

Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona in black and white. Photography by Amar Guillen, Photographer Artist
Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.

The Little Story Behind This Article

I photographed the Canyon de Chelly for the first time in 2010. I had stopped in the city of Chinle to spend a night on the road to the Grand Canyon.

While talking with the hotel receptionist, I learned that he was from the Navajo tribe. I explained to him that I was a professional photographer and that I was conducting a large photographic project on the National Parks of the United States.

He told me about his family who lived in Chelly Canyon. In English, it should be pronounced Canyon de Chai. In front of my ignorance of this place which apparently was iconic, he invited me to discover it the next day on board his four-wheel drive.

It was a real shock. The canyon is more than 25 miles long (40 kilometers). The cliffs are more than 980 feet high (300 meters). But the aspect that left me the most stunned is certainly the orange color of the rocks. He told me the story of the Navajos who arrived in the 18th century and how they were massacred by Spanish colonists in 1805.

I spent the day with him and his family. It was an incredible experience. I visited the canyon with a private guide. I later learned that visiting the canyon is forbidden if you are not accompanied by a guide.

Finally, for this first trip, I spent 3 days creating photographs. Since then, I regularly spend at least 3 nights in Chinle to try to capture the extraordinary lights of the Canyon de Chelly. I often came back without having taken a single photo because the lights were not there.

A Few Words About the Canyon de Chelly

As I mentioned in a previous paragraph, Canyon de Chelly is a huge private property. It belongs to the Navajo tribe. If you want to visit the canyon, you must hire a guide. I advise you to take a private guide. There are group tours, but the quality is quite poor.

This is a national American moment. It was established in 1931.

The word Chelly comes from the Navajo word 'Tseyi' which means canyon. Literally 'inside the rock'.

Today, more than forty families live in the canyon. They grow corn, raise cows and horses.

Photographing the Canyon of Chelly

Like most canyons, most of the photos you will take will be taken from the rims. You will thus have a view of the horizon as well as the interior of the canyon.

The landscapes are absolutely spectacular because very tormented with magnificent orange colors. The textures and details are extraordinary for a landscape photographer.

Inevitably, you will think about color for your shots. Most of the photographers I know do this in a way that seems natural.

The problem is that you are going to take photographs that have already been taken thousands of times. All you have to do is search on the internet with the keywords "Canyon de Chelly photographs" to realize that most of the photos are in color.

Now search with the keywords "black and white photographs of Canyon de Chelly". The choice will be much more restricted.

Personally, I think that black and white allows to show the beauty of the canyon as well as all its subtleties and nuances.

To carry out this photo project, I was inspired by Edward S. Curtis and Ansel Adams who created photos that I find beautiful. I followed in their footsteps to express what I felt when I contemplated Spider Rock or White House.

The black and white allows to give an account of the magnificence and majesty of the canyon.

The main difficulty is to photograph the canyon with a distant horizon. Often, the sky is blue without any clouds. I have done several sessions during the last few years during which I have not been able to make a single artistic photo.

Sometimes I was lucky. Patience paid off. But I spent countless hours waiting for the right light and beautiful clouds.

I often say that clouds are the language of the sky. If they are not present in the picture, it is not possible to speak, photographically speaking.

Some Pictures Of Canyon de Chelly

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.

Framing and Formats to Photograph the Canyon de Chelly

Everything is possible from 3:2 horizontal format to square format and vertical format.

The Canyon de Chelly is a true source of inspiration. Just let yourself go and see how the Navajo people live to capture the quintessence of the region.

The main difficulty is the management of shadows. As it is a canyon, you will have to wait for the light to penetrate inside to reveal the shapes. If you photograph early in the morning or late in the evening, you will have gigantic and unsightly shadows. You have created great mass imbalances.

The ideal time for me is mid-morning or mid-afternoon. I advise you to spend a day looking for lights depending on the location. For example, to photograph Spider Rock, the ideal is in the morning because the shade is beautiful.

The Interpretation of Canyon de Chelly

For me, Canyon de Chelly is like the families that live in its bowels. It is timeless. Time seems to have stopped. Everything is in contemplation.

The first day of each of my trips is devoted to the search for light, waiting and introspection. I take a few freehand pictures to immerse myself in the atmosphere. I know that I will have to be patient like my predecessors and my masters Curtis and Adams were.

I recommend that you immerse yourself in the history of the Navajo and Pueblo people to understand how to live in the Chelly Canyon. These stories will help you find the inspiration to create photos that will be unique.

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Why and How: Photographing Valley of Fire, Nevada

If you have the opportunity to visit Las Vegas on your next trip to the United States, do not hesitate to keep a full day to go and photograph an extraordinary place that is Valley of Fire.

This session will require some preparation as Valley of Fire cannot be improvised. At first, it is quite confusing.

In this article, I will give you some keys to prepare and make a success of your photographs of Valley of Fire whether in black and white or in color.

Black and white landscape of the road that winds through the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Photography by Amar Guillen, Photographer Artist
The road that winds through the Valley of Fire in Nevada.

The Little Story of This Article

Every year, I make a kind of pilgrimage by car that takes me from Dallas, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada. I only drive on the famous I-40 which allows to cross the United States from east to west.

My first big road trip was to photograph the Grand Canyon in Arizona. So naturally I took the I-40. It was one of my best travel experiences. I would stop at the gas pumps just to drink a coffee and exchange a few words with the gas station attendants. Every town or village was a moment of ecstasy for me. That is how I discovered the United States.

Since then, every year, I make this trip again. The most amazing thing is that I always make discoveries because I choose to stop in different places.

If I had to make the trip from Dallas to Las Vegas in one go, it would take me 18 hours to cover the 1200 miles (2100 kilometers) between the two cities. But it always takes me at least a week to get from one city to the other. Every year I choose different points to photograph: Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Petrified Valley, and so on. The number of interesting sites for a photographer is extraordinary.

When I get to Vegas, I do not stop. My goal is always Valley of Fire. I keep driving northeast for an hour. I choose a small motel for two nights a few miles from the natural site. Then I rush to photograph the formations and the unique lights in the world.

When I talk about Valley of Fire, I realize that few people know about this place. Those who do are surprised to hear me say that I spend two full days photographing this valley.

If you are a landscape photographer or a photographer who wants to take different pictures, then Valley of Fire is for you.

A Few Words About Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is a valley that is located in the Mojave Desert in Nevada. To get there, you have to drive on a macadam road through a desert of rocks and yuccas. The landscapes are monotonous. Photographically, they are not of great interest.

If you are coming from Las Vegas, there is only one road that takes you to the west side of the Valley. At the bend in the road, your gaze is drawn to a huge red and orange mass that seems to lie in the desert. This is Valley of Fire. It is a real shock because the contrast of colors is surprising. The flamboyant color is due to the sandstone rocks. The site covers 185 square kilometers.

Once you enter the valley, you will stomp in front of these colorful landscapes that offer themselves to you. You will have only one desire: to take your camera to immortalize the colors and mineral formations that you have before your eyes.

I advise you to be patient because if you want to get out of the iconic photo, you will have to search for the best points of view.

There are two ways to experience the natural wonders of the Valley of Fire:

  • Black and White.
  • Color.

Photographing Valley of Fire in Black and White

Naturally, most photographers choose color for their photos of Valley of Fire. I understand them perfectly. Colored formations range from vivid photos. Indeed, they are bathed in a rather pure light because the valley is located in a desert far from the pollution of a big city.

However, I would also advise you to take black and white photos. Do not forget that black is a creative technique for landscapes :

  • Rich in texture.
  • With many contrasts.

In addition, the often-cloudy skies will allow you to add an interesting creative dimension. These skies will give depth to your photos. You will transport the viewers beyond the horizon. You will make them dream because they will think of the wide-open spaces of the southwestern United States.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.

Photographing Valley of Fire in Color

To photograph Valley of Fire in color, I advise you to arrive before sunrise and stay after sunset.

The lights will be extraordinary. The mineral formations will literally explode with color. That is one of the reasons I am spending two full days at the site. The sunrises and sunsets are fairly short. The light changes quite quickly. You have to take the time to get to know the place in order to take good pictures that will have an impact.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.

Framing and Formats for Photographing Valley of Fire

Personally, I think that Valley of Fire is well highlighted with panoramic pictures. That is why I use the 3:1 format. It allows me to create longer photos that show the extent of the site with a lot of detail. The problem with the panoramic format is that you have to print your photos in large formats to fully enjoy them.

An alternative for printing smaller photos is the 3:2 format. This is the one I prefer to photograph the unique road that winds through the valley. It is winding. It must adapt to the very tormented relief of Valley of Fire. The creative effect is quite interesting.

The Choice of Focal Lengths

As it is often the case in the landscapes of the southwestern United States, focal lengths from 14 to 200mm are well suited. With the 200mm, you will be able to capture the nuances of rock detail.

You can take pictures from close or far away. Your photographs will be completely different. Everything will depend on what you want to show.

Personally, I always use wide-angle lenses because I love wide open spaces. I need to evoke freedom. I need to breathe in I create a picture of landscapes. But it is a personal approach.

I advise you not to get caught up in the warm, shimmering colors that will captivate you. Do not hesitate to take a step back. Try to disregard the colors. Take the time to take a good look at the rock formations and the shapes they evoke.

The Interpretation of Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire does not symbolically represent the wide-open spaces of the American Southwest. Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Petrified Forest are more suitable places.

For me, I see Valley of Fire as a planet that will not be Earth. I imagine it like the planet Mars because of its very accentuated red color. I often walk for miles on the rock formations to find the best points of view to photograph. I always feel like I am not on Earth. It is the only place I know where I have that feeling.

Symbolically, for me, Valley of Fire is another planet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Written by
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Natural Wonders of Valley of the Gods in Black and White – A Collection of Fine Art Photos

Monument Valley in Arizona. Photograph in black and white by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
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Why and How: Defining Your Photographic Why – Part 2

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Landscape in black and white of Petrified Forest in Arizona. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Landscape in black and white of Petrified Forest in Arizona.
 

Some Examples of Photographic Why

Elena's photographic why: « For me, underwater photography is a way to educate people who do not dive to be even more respectful of the fauna and flora of the marine world. »

Steven's photographic why: « For me, photography is a way to make my friends aware of taking care of the world around us. »

Annika’s photographic why: « I want to make people want to take an interest in nature. I would like them to understand its fragility through poetic and artistic photos. I would like to share its beauty with others, to show the intimacy of animals and the diversity of their feelings. »

Christopher's photographic why: « Photography allows me to show ordinary things in an extraordinary way. I can thus awaken the consciences of other people to the treasures that are right next door to us. »

All these photographic why required a lot of work from each person. This is one of the objectives of my photography workshops. I try that each trainee defines his why to go further and know why he practices photography.

What always surprises me is that most photographers want to show, educate, make people understand, convey important messages that go beyond the beauty of a simple image.

When I hear them telling me their photographic why after three or four days of workshop, I know I have done what I wanted to do. All these photographic why have one thing in common, which I explained in the following paragraph.

 

The Photographic Why Transcends Photography

If you want to define a photographic why that is strong and will last an exceedingly long time, you have to think of something beyond photography.

There is no question of talking about technical matters such as composition, framing, panning, black and white or color. These are only tools that will help you achieve your goal.

Your photographic why must transcend photography. It goes far beyond simply creating beautiful photographs. It defines a real mission that you must carry out.

In the previous examples, you may have read that the trainees really wanted to bring a few days to the others. It was not just about them. They are talking about the community, the group.

At this point, I hope you have understood why your photographic why is a fundamental element in the photographic approach. And yet almost no photographer starts with this concept in mind.

 

The Photographic Why Is the First Step of the Photographic Approach

Anyone who starts photography in a serious way should do so by defining a photographic why.

Strange as it may seem, that is never the case. For my part, I waited years even after becoming a professional photographer to define mine.

With hindsight, I realized that most of the photographers, professional or not, who served as references for me did not have one either.

I had made the wrong choices for the examples to follow.

And yet it is the first link in the chain of the photographic approach.

After all these years of experience, I finally understood that to be a good photographer the main quality was to have a photographic why.

Yet in the hundreds of magazines and books I have read and studied, I have never found any mention of this fact. They always talk about technical problems and solutions concerning focal lengths, digital sensors, photo lenses, composition rules, field shooting, photo development. But never the photographic why.

You are probably going to ask me why. The reason is simple. Magazines and books must live. To live they must sell. And to sell, they must serve what most photographers want. And what most photographers want? Something to do with technique. Why do they want it? Because they think it is the most important thing.

But as I always say during my photo workshops, technique is useless if taken alone. It should only serve your photographic why and your photographic approach.

Books and magazines are always in the immediacy, the instantaneity. They do not think about the long term. They have to feed you in the moment without evoking the long-term foundations. And yet, the photographic why, which is the first link in a long chain, is the most important founding element of your photographic activity. Never forget that when you are going to define it, it must transcend photography. It must go beyond the image.

It should serve to define your photographic consciousness.

Trying to understand one's own photographic why requires an enormous amount of introspection and research.

All you need is a pen, a few sheets of paper, a little bit of silence and concentration.

 

How to Define Your Photographic Why

At this stage of reading the article, you have certainly understood the importance of defining a strong photographic why to create interesting photos.

But how do you do it?

All you need is a pencil and five sheets of paper.

Personally, I always use paper when I have to write and think about ideas. For example, writing this article is no exception to the rule. It is six o'clock in the morning. I am sitting down. I am writing on my pad. The computer does not have that flexibility.

Here is the method I recommend:

  • On the first sheet of paper, list your moral and ethical values.
  • On a second sheet of paper, list the goals you generally pursue in your life..
  • On a third sheet of paper, list all the reasons why you like photography..
  • On a fourth sheet, list all the points of what you want to do with your photographs.
  • Finally, on a fifth sheet, explain what you want to bring to other people with your photographs.

For each sheet, proofread and refine the reasons precisely.

At the end of this proofreading process, you must have one reason per sheet.

All you have to do is put them together with a phrase that will become your photographic why.

I invite you to take a few hours to apply this method. It is certainly the most important action you will have done since you have been practicing photography.

When you reread the sentence you have constructed, you will see an incredible fact: your photographic why is the image of your life.

Your Photographic Why Is an Image of Your Life

To Continue Next Friday. Do not forget to come back.

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Why and How: Defining Your Photographic Why – Part 1

Do you know what all successful photographers have in common, even after 10 or 15 years of photographic work?
They have a strong photographic why.

It is thanks to it that they find the energy to create new series, new photographic collections.

Maybe you have not considered yours yet?

It is high time you did so that you can continue to live your passion.

That is what I am going to explain to you in this article

This article will help you understand how to implement a new tool in your photography toolbox. By implementing it, you will make your photos even more interesting and give them true meaning.

Abstract conceptual photo of a landscape of Petrified Forest in Arizona. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Abstract conceptual photo of a landscape of Petrified Forest in Arizona.

The Little Story of This Article

When I started photography professionally in June 2003, it was more about seizing an opportunity than a real desire to become an entrepreneur.

Two years earlier, I had arrived in the United States. I was giving scuba diving lessons as a freelancer.

I also used to take underwater photos. I animated photo workshops for a diving center. One of my trainees who was a lawyer came up with the idea of creating my own company to sell my photos but also to eventually apply for the green card. At that time, I only had a visa.

It is by the greatest of chances that I started my career as a professional photographer.

After three years of hard work, my professional situation had hardly improved. I was still at the same point with increasingly frequent periods of discouragement. I decided to follow a marketing training course in photography that would last several months.

My pictures were technically good. I was working with several magazines, but I could not distinguish myself. I could not stand out from the crowd. I was stagnating.

One of the first things I learned was that I could be particularly good at photography, it did not allow me to really be remarkable through because the first link in the long chain that leads to confidence and success was missing. I did not know why I chose photography.

I had not defined my photographic why.

When I made this discovery, I was skeptical. I did not understand what this notion of photographic why could be used for. And yet the trainer insisted heavily. He made me practice different methods to define it.

It is after a few months that I finally understand its interest and its power.

Still today, every day, in moments of doubt, I repeat it to myself like a mantra. Without it I would not be where I am today.

I will explain why you need a strong photographic why if you want to create interesting pictures. You will understand why it will make you last in photography. You will see why it will allow you to be different from other photographers.

Every Good Photographer Has a Photographic Why

For me, a good photographer has the following qualities:

  • He has created consistent and coherent photographic collections.
  • He has a clear and well-defined photographic vision.
  • He lasts over time.
  • He is a photographer who knows how to reinvent himself.
  • He is pugnacious and always seeks to wait in excellence.
  • He understood that photography is a true medium of expression.

A good photographer is not necessarily someone who is well known and talked about in magazines or shows. A good photographer is not necessarily a media person.

I have met many good photographers in exhibitions, festivals, during my lectures and photo workshops.

Once the presentations are over, I always manage to ask the question "Why do you practice photography?”.

Even if it is surprising for my interlocutors, they always end up answering me. That is when I realize that I was not wrong about them: they were really good.

All of them have a valid, deep, and well-defined reason to practice photography. This is a sine qua non condition. All good photographers have a photographic why.

Definition of the Photographic Why

You will not find in the dictionary, a definition of the expression "Photographic why". I created it from scratch.

The photographic why defines the personal reasons why you practice photography. It defines the meaning of your photographic practice.

By definition, the word “meaning” means:

« The reason, the purpose of something, what justifies it. »

The word reason means:

« Which explains, justifiably done, an act. »

Combining the definitions of meaning and reason, I can say that the photographic why explains the fact that you practice photography. Your photographic why gives the reason why you are a photographer. It justifies why you chose this medium to express yourself.

In my opinion, the definition of the photographic why is the most important act for you. It is a founder. It is on this definition that you will build your entire photographic building.

I sincerely think and experience proves to me that without a clear photographic why, a photographer cannot last in time.

Why Defining Your Photographic Why

Defining your photographic why will allow you to better direct your creativity.

When you choose to make a new photo project, you will do so by marking your route correctly. You will avoid getting lost in the photographic meanders.

Since you have defined a specific goal, you will define different objectives to be achieved in order to move towards that goal.

For example, in my case as my photographic why is related to nature, I do not diverge doing portrait photography or architectural photography. I always stay focused on what I have chosen and defined at the beginning.

As I focus on my goal, I specialize more and more. I am getting better all the time. I am strengthening my foundations and my strengths. I am getting better.

It is exactly the same for you. Your photographic why will allow you to perfect yourself and strive for the excellence you are certainly looking for.

Defining your photographic why will also allow you to stand out from the crowd and create photos that are different from the others.

I am not saying you are going to create better pictures than the others. I am just saying you are going to be different. You will be noticed. You will be appreciated.

Indeed, the more you specialize, the more skills you will acquire. The more you will progress. Your style will assert itself more and more. You will be different. You will stand out from the crowd. You will be noticed is remarkable.

Defining your photographic why will help you to last in photography.

Defining a photographic goal with time-scaled objectives will allow you to think long-term. You will produce consistently and coherently. You will last over time.

Defining your photographic why will also give you a lifeline to hold on to when you are in doubt. Since you have chosen a creative activity, there will be many periods of doubt. Some capes will be difficult to overcome.

With a clear and precise photographic goal, a good reason to help photos and a meaning to your photographic approach, when you doubt, you will only have to think about your photographic why. It will all fall into place and you will go on.

Defining your photographic why allows you to gain confidence in yourself.

These few reasons should make you feel a strong photographic why.

But before I give you some methods to define it, let me give you some examples.

Some Examples of Photographic Why

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Why and How: Photographing Death Valley in California in Black and White

Do you like Westerns and the atmosphere of the Southwestern United States? If the answer is yes, then you will love Monument Valley.

The buttes and mesas that line the valley are forever associated with the films recounting the conquest of the west.

It is beautiful, impressive, grandiose. But photographing the landscapes of Monument Valley is not so easy because photographs quickly fall into the postcard register.

In this article, I propose a different photographic approach: the one of black and white.

Landscape in black and white of Monument Valley in Arizona. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Landscape of Monument Valley.
 

The Little Story of This Article

Every year in the fall, I spend at least two days at Monument Valley. It is like a pilgrimage. I think this is where my passion for the United States was born.

On every trip, I ride on the stony tracks covered with orange dust. I take about sixty pictures. I spend some time with a Navajo family with whom I have made friends. We always talk about the same subjects: the passing of time, the difficult education for the children in the reservation, the next pow-wow which looks even better than last year. I walk on the dusty trails to recharge myself. Then I leave and continue west.

Each pilgrimage follows the same rhythm. Monument Valley is the praise of the slow pace of time, the slow rhythm of nature. The landscapes are gradually eroding. Every year I can see a big rock coming off a butte. As the father of the Navajo family would say: "That is the way time goes”. There is nothing we can do. He is a fatalist. I understand his way of being.

This place is truly inspiring. However, I had never been able to create a collection of interesting art photos before. I have accumulated hundreds of photos that are stored very wisely on the servers. They will never be developed.

That is very strange, because everything is there. I just have to look and take pictures.

The problem is that every time I tried, I was replicating what others had done. Every time I fell into the postcard picture.

However, this year I took a big resolution. I decided to create a true collection of fine art photos of Monument Valley. I pondered for hours and hours to find an angle.

I took the place of a pioneer coming from the east and heading west to make his fortune. I decided to forget all the journeys I had already made in this region. I imagined it was the first time. I tried to think like a pioneer who was travelling through this area without water, a desert. I acted as if I was making a new start.

 

The Choice of Black and White

Everything has been said and photographed at Monument Valley. Yet everything remains to be done.

If you want to give an original way of this desert region where the dominant color is orange, black and white is ideal.

It may seem paradoxical, but if you make color photographs, you will quickly fall into the postcard photograph that you bring back from your holidays. Your photographs will be beautiful. Everyone will be captivated by the exceptional lights and colors of the region. But there will be nothing truly original and personal.

Monument Valley is made up of mineral landscapes. The whole valley is covered with massive sandstone and shale.

To capture textures and details, black and white is perfectly suited.

 

The Use of the Foreground

Many photographers take pictures from afar trying to capture the general atmosphere of the valley. I can perfectly understand this way of proceeding. Only one road leads to Monument. When we arrive, the car park is located on an overhang overlooking the valley. It is breathtaking. The landscapes are grandiose. Immediately, the memories of the westerns and epics of the American pioneers come back to mind.

If you want to photograph Monument Valley's landscapes with far away shots, this will only be possible at certain points of view.

Another way is to add a strong foreground that will add an extra dimension to your composition. The meadows of Monument Valley are littered with dead trees or juniper trees, each one more implausible than the other.

For an exceedingly long time, I refused to photograph dead trees. I love life and energy. I found that a dead tree evoked death and gave a morbid dimension to photographs.

It was during a photo workshop devoted to the bugle of the deer that the click occurred. During a discussion with Eric Bornet, a trainee, he explained to me that a dead tree or a dead branch could be used as a photographic element to enhance the reading of a photo. He gave me the example of the leopard lying on a branch. The discussion lasted an hour. Finally, he was right. His argument was unstoppable. I agreed with him.

It is since this famous training course that I understood the importance and the interest of a dead or emaciated tree in an art photo. This was perhaps the reason why I did not develop any Monument Valley photos. The absence of this famous foreground prevented me from expressing myself totally.

If you are photographing Monument Valley landscapes, feel free to use a tree in the foreground. It is a real asset.

 

The Choice of Focal Lengths

All photographic lenses are usable at Monument Valley. The range is from 14mm to 200mm. The shorter your focal length, the closer you will have to get to the mesas or mounds. The longer the focal length, the further away you can get.

Be careful if you want to get close. You are on a Navajo reservation. Monument Valley is sacred land. You cannot walk where you want to walk. The Navajo name the place Tse Bii' Ndzisgaii, meaning "Valley of the Rocks". Ideally, you should pay a Navajo guide to take you to places where you cannot go yourself. It is really worth the few dozen dollars you will give him.

 

Framing and Formats

Anything is possible at Monument Valley. It all depends on what you want to convey and express. Personally, I adopt the 3:1 and 3:2 format because they allow me to create very airy photos evoking the great outdoors and the freedom to move around.

But the square or 16:9 format is also well suited. Your imagination is the power. Above all, take your time to choose your scenes and photographic points of view.

 

Symbolism

How else to show Monument Valley than with a postcard photo? That is the challenge you are going to have to face because everything has already been done.

Personally, I chose the great outdoors, the journey of a pioneer who was seeing the region for the first time. A dead tree in the foreground of an open stage shows that life goes on despite all the misfortunes that can happen to us. It is inexorable. Time goes on despite everything. That is what I learned from the Navajo. Something can get in the way of our lives. Yet we must keep moving forward. That is why, in some of the pictures, I've placed a tree directly in front of a mound.

I have photographed junipers with a few leaves even though they are skeletal and seem to be on the verge of drying out. For me, these trees just evoke adaptation to life's circumstances. It hardly ever rains in this area. Yet they are hardy and have leaves.

If you know how to look at Monument Valley and go beyond landscape photography, you will see and photograph real life. You will understand why you should always move forward, progress, learn and never stop while enjoying yourself.

 

The Black and White Photo Gallery of the Landscapes of Monument Valley, Arizona

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.

Friday, July 27, 2018
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Collections of Abstract Fine Art Photos

Abstract photo of a petrified rock. It evokes the energy of time.
Abstract photo of a petrified rock. It evokes the energy of time..

All the collections of abstract fine art photos in black and white or in color.

Friday, July 27, 2018
If this page interested you, would you give it a note? (5 stars is the best one)?
(6 votes)

Collections of Symbolic Fine Art Photos


All the collections of symbolic fine art photos in black and white or in color.

Friday, July 27, 2018
If this page interested you, would you give it a note? (5 stars is the best one)?
(7 votes)

Collections of Conceptual Fine Art Photos

Conceptual photo of a landscape of Yellowstone. It evokes the forgotton paradises.
Conceptual photo of a landscape of Yellowstone. It evokes the forgotton paradises.

All the collections of conceptual fine art photos in black and white or in color.

Friday, July 27, 2018
If this page interested you, would you give it a note? (5 stars is the best one)?
(7 votes)

Collections of United States Fine Art Photos


All the collections of united states fine art photos in black and white or in color.

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