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on Mar 9, 2012 in Landscape Photography

Chasing the Light in the Valley



I do enjoy greeting the day watching the sun rise. There is just something about that moment that all seems right in the world as the light comes up, the birds begin to sing and the clouds race to meet the coming sun. Last week in Monument Valley on our K&M Adventure, it was one of those mornings. We were out early heading around the loop to be in place in case the balloons launched (which they didn’t this morning). When I looked out of my room at the View, what you see in the top photo was what got me excited except the cloud had already changed alot by the time we got in place to shoot. I love clouds, they simply add a whole new dimension to anything subject. Kevin did his best to get us down in place but the same winds that kept the balloons from launching just scattered that beautiful cloud.

A classic case of chasing the light in the Valley. Just because there is pretty color in the sky, I don’t stop to shoot. The romance everyone associates with a sunrise or sunset if the very minimum that needs to be in our photographs. So with the color has to be the foreground, middleground and background and a lot more. You need shapes in silhouette as well and then finally, you need them clouds to take you eye and heart around the entire photograph. At least, that’s what I shoot for. So in the top photo for example, it’s no mistake that the break in the cloud rims the left side of Merritt Mesa.

These three photos were taken over a period of about 18min and over a distance of about 150 yards. The first photo we were at the bottom of a wash and as the clouds scattered and the sun rose, I didn’t like the foreground so I ran up slope to make the middle image and then to the top of the ridge to make the bottom photo. I like all three, each has a little something different but of these three, the top is my favorite. John Wayne rode over that dirt road and on the morning chasing the light in the Valley, I could imagine him doing it again.