Valley/Hunt's Mesa workshop
April 25, 2004
images in Part 2
Kossack's F-8 and Be There
Monument Valley/Hunt's Mesa Workshop from April 2-6, 2004, then spent two
days in Canyonlands (Needles district). Our Navajo guide was Tom
Phillips, who has worked with a number of well-known photographers.
A guide is necessary for visiting the best parts of the Navajo Reservation.
The publicly accessible parts of Monument Valley are definitely not the
got up each morning at 4AM (standard time) and we were in our cars by 4:30,
rain or shine. And it rained a lot. Very unusual for the desert
region, but generally welcome because the region (and indeed, the entire
Western United States) has suffered from five years of drought, and also
because the best light happens just after the rain. The desert wildflower
bloom should be spectacular in late April-- I'm tempted to return.
Mesa is the high point at the south end of Monument Valley. Reached
by a hike (challenging in a few places if you're not a rock climber) or
four-wheel drive. It's one of the most spectacular views on our planet,
and a truly sacred place. Getting there requires advanced planning (not
cheap). It could become a goldmine if it were developed for tourism, but
the magic would be lost. We had only a few minutes of good light between
the rain and fog. I'd go back in a minute. If any reader wants to plan
a trip there, let me know. I'd be happy to share the costs. It's a long
day's drive from Boulder (or two short days with plenty of time to stop
Valley contains a number of Anasazi Ruins, but the best photo spot
is the vicinity of this overlook. "Tom's point." It had poured earlier
in the day.
I call this scene the
"Navajo Wave" because of its resemblence to "The Wave" in the Paria/Vermillion
Cliffs wilderness. These sandstone formations are very fragile.
(Needles District) is north of Monument Valley and south of Moab,
which was mobbed with tourists because its annual Jeep Safari, which takes
place in early April. A good time to avoid Moab unless you're an avid four-wheeler--
motel rooms are booked months in advance. All campsites in Canyonlands
were filled from the spillover-- and I didn't learn about camping on BLM
land just outside the park entrance until later. I stayed in the town of
Monticello, about an hour's drive from the park-- not an ideal solution.
image was taken on the Chesler Park trail, about a mile from the Elephant
Hill trailhead, during the "golden hour" before sunset.
images in Part 2
and text copyright © 2000-2014 by Norman
Norman Koren lives in Boulder, Colorado, founded Imatest LLC in 2004, previously worked on magnetic recording technology. He has been involved with photography since 1964.