Sunrise above the goosenecks of the San Juan river in southern Utah. This shot is from the very edge of the Colorado Plateau, and one of my absolute favorites for camping. There is a 270 degree view for miles and miles, and straight ahead, on the horizon, is Monument Valley. The view is so expansive that I have watched 3 separate lightning storms, all happening at the same time, from this location!
This was captured at the same remote location as my last post, high above the Colorado river on Navajo land. The sun had just dipped below the horizon, giving me a break from the smokey haze that had obscured the distant cliffs.
I’d visited this isolated location overlooking the Colorado River for the first time last spring. I had little trouble finding it at the time, paying close attention to written directions and resetting my trip meter at each waypoint. So last month—when I decided it was time for another visit—I was confident I’d have no trouble finding it again. Wrong. After an hour of trying to find my way out of the maze of seldom-traveled jeep roads that crisscrossed this desolate Navajo back country, I finally managed to back track to a familiar point along the route. I turned off the radio, reset the trip meter, re-read the directions, and concentrated on the route before me.
30 minutes later I was standing on the edge of the towering cliffs above the canyon. The haze from distant wildfires was a disappointing sight. I didn’t think I would be able to clearly capture the features of the distant landscape, so I concentrated on putting together a shot that focused on features closer to me. The row of spot-lit buttes reminded me of dimly lit faces of people standing in shadows.
Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!
Please click on the photo for a better view.
I left Phoenix at 3:30 AM in order to photograph the sun rising of Watson Lake. This man-made lake is just outside of Prescott, AZ in an area known as The Granite Dells. It’s unique environment is spectacular any time of the day, but to stand upon the rocks overlooking the lake as the rising sun colors the sky is really an incredible experience. I was fortunate on this morning as a rainstorm that passed through the area the night before had left the sky full of clouds. Enjoy!
I’d woke at 3:30AM (ouch) to meet friend and fellow landscape photographer Doug Koepsel for a sunrise shoot at Yaki Point, on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. After a 30 minute hike through the pre-dawn darkness, we were a bit disappointed to find a heavy wall of clouds blocking the eastern sky where the sun would rise. 5:19AM came and went, with no brilliant, colorful clouds to reward us for our efforts. We folded up our tripods and hiked eastward along the edge, scouting for possible spots to use on future visits. Eventually, the clouds began to dissipate, allowing these beautiful beams of light to shine down, and igniting hopes that we might still see the canyon lit up in the early morning sun.
Someone recently thanked me for giving them the opportunity to “see places that we will never see in person”. For most of you, this is one of those places.
Tatahatso Point offers an outstanding view of the Colorado River several miles before it reaches the Grand Canyon. Like many of the spots I travel to for photography, I’d seen a few photos of it and knew I had to see it for myself. The Point is located on Navajo land, so a permit must be obtained before one can legally travel to it. Once a permit is granted, the real fun begins. Directions to Tatahatso Point are not easy to come by. Very little information is available, even on the internet. I managed to land written directions from a fellow photographer (thanks Doug) who’d been out there before. I located the turnoff from US 89 onto Navajo land. The Navajo roads are unpaved and unmarked, with what seemed like a fork every mile of the 20 or so miles that lead to my destination. It was slow going. I would set my trip meter, refer to the directions, drive the designated distance, re-set my trip meter, refer to the directions, and so on. The route took me across wide open, rolling plains. It was open range and I saw the occasional herd of wild horses. One would never guess that such an expansive canyon view lie just a few more miles due west.
Finally, after a wrong turn or two, I arrived at the viewpoint. A small rock fire ring was really the only evidence that anyone had ever spent any time here, and I was delighted to have the spot to myself. The sky was mostly cloudy and I didn’t get the sunset I’d hoped for, but I did manage to capture this shot while a bit of sun broke through long enough to light up the buttes in the foreground. The scene is so vast that it couldn’t be captured entirely in one shot, even with a wide-angle lens. This is three vertical shots blended together in Photoshop to make a large panorama.
Click on the photo for a better view.
Just a mile or two south of Page, Arizona is a spot where the Colorado River makes a complete 270 degree bend 1000 feet below your view-point. Horseshoe Bend is a popular spot with photographers from all over the world, and with good reason. The view is nothing short of spectacular and it’s a fairly easy to reach location. I recently spent a few days near Page, and until then I had never really placed Horseshoe Bend very high on my list of “must see” landscapes. After shooting sunset one evening and sunrise the following morning, I’m now looking forward to my next opportunity to experience this iconic location.
Several of my favorite photos are currently on display at
2603 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Great food and nice people who have excellent taste in nature photography!