Monument Valley # 2
I made this image on my way to meet up with a friend and fellow photographer in Flagstaff, AZ. Since I had arrived a few days early I thought I would venture into Monument Valley and do a little exploring. I had not been here before but I had seen photographs made by others so I was excited about the possibilities of what I might find.
Driving down the long road from Goulding Inn I passed the many stands of the Navaho Indians, selling some of the most beautiful blankets, pottery and jewelry. The Navaho are great artisans and create some of the most beautiful designs.
For the most part photography in Monument Valley is best accomplished at dawn and dusk. The long shadows created by adjacent buttes can help create a foreground and accentuate your subject. The side lighting also creates depth.
Along the drive I noticed many possibilities for compositions. But it was late in the morning and the light was rather flat and uninteresting. After making some mental notes in reference to where I wanted to return I headed back to Goulding for some nourishment. After lunch I went to the very interesting Navajo Culture Center and the Navajo Code Talker Exhibit which is a must see exhibit for anyone visiting the area. It will add to your understanding, appreciation and the respect we should have for this area and the very kind Navajo people.
The afternoon sun was getting lower in the sky and it was time to head back and relocate some of my compositions that I scouted earlier. This particular view was chosen to include the two small buttes framing the larger butte, which had a fair amount of side lighting. While keeping the larger butte on the top third and to the right of the center of the composition the foreground shadow created a nice framing on the bottom. While calculating exposure I was cautious to maintain detail in this area.
By making images in the late afternoon the sidelight brings out the shadows in the rock formations and the chances for clouds are greater as well.
I used a yellow filter to darken the blue section of the sky. I have also burned down the sky and foreground during printing process.
To calculate exposure I metered the darkest shadows area which indicated f-22 @ 1/8 which I placed on Zone III. I allowed one stop for the yellow filter.
Exposure was f-22 @ 1/15 sec.
To maintain foreground detail I used a slight downward tilt of the 210mm lens was required. The 4 x 5 inch negatives were developed in D-76 1:1
About the Print of the Month
The Print of the Month is a new print offered at an early-edition discount. Normal pricing must apply once the print is offered by a gallery.
The Print of the Month is a silver gelatin print, each one created by hand using traditional darkroom methods.
Prints are limited to 50 per edition.
Typically the Print of the Month is made from a T-Max 100 negative, which is processed in D-76 mixed 1:1.
Each fine art print is made by hand using Ilford-based double weight paper.
The prints are double fixed and selenium toned for longevity. They are then washed in a vertical print washer to completely eliminate any residue. Prints are carefully allowed to dry for two days. Next, each print is mounted on museum quality archival mat boards with acid-free mounting tissue. Although each print takes a considerable amount of time and meticulous effort, this archival printing and mounting process is the only way to ensure print permanence and collectability. Give it proper care and your print will last hundreds of years without fading.
My signature and the print number are visible on the mat, below the print.
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