The Canyon de Chelly is a canyon that stretches nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles). Its name is an English deformation of the Navajo word "tseqi" which means "rocky canyon".
It is an absolutely extraordinary mineral landscape that can be appreciated either by walking on the top of the rims. The bottom of the canyon is more than 300 meters (925 feet) deep.
When I go on a trip to photograph the Canyon de Chelly, it is always with a lot of emotions that I find these mineral landscapes full of history. The Anasazi occupied the canyon from the Christian era until the 1300's. Then it was the Navajos who settled there around 1700.
Even today, Navajo families still live in the canyon, growing corn and beans and raising horses, cows, and sheep.
I have always chosen black and white to create my artistic photos of Canyon de Chelly. I always feel strange sensations as if people are watching me, spying on me while I am on top of the rims. Yet no one is there. I am often alone because I always make this pilgrimage during the winter.
Indeed, I need to enhance the mineral beauty with the clouds. They are often capricious. I have made many trips without ever having the opportunity to photograph from the cliffs because the sky was too blue. Sometimes, luck smiles at me and it is an opportunity to make beautiful photographic works like the one showing Spider Rock on a February morning.
I do not often take these kinds of photographs. Patience and perseverance are my most faithful allies.
The Canyon de Chelly is located in the heart of Navajo territory. It is a pretty desolate, poor area. But the wealth is elsewhere. It is in the air, in space, in nature. When I walk in search of a good point of view, I feel this extraordinary creative energy rising within me. This is inexplicable but I can feel it.
This collection of black and white fine art photographs has been created to allow you to escape to the great outdoors of the Southwestern of United States. I call this region "The region where the wind blows freely".
I hope you will be as sensitive to these feelings of freedom and beauty.
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