How the Art Happens - Clearing Storm, Artist Point, Monument Valley, Arizona

May 13, 2020  •  1 Comment

Clearing Storm, Artist Point, Monument Valley, Arizona

Clearing Storm, Artist Point, Monument Valley, AZ copyClearing Storm, Artist Point, Monument Valley, AZ copyA clearing spring storm leaves a pastel landscape at Artist Point, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Arizona.

Monument Valley is one of the most overwhelming and amazing landscapes in the United States. It seems to go on forever. Every distant mesa or spire leads to another bit of eye-candy. Because the landscape goes on forever, the sky becomes a huge element in the success or failure of photographs in Monument Valley. I've probably driven through at least a half-dozen times without even picking up my camera because the sky was socked-in and overcast or completely cloudless. Neither of those situations provides me with the light or the sky that I want in my photos.

Almost exactly four years ago I made a long-awaited trip to Arizona to see Canyon de Chelly National Monument. After three days of exploring the canyon, it was time to meander back to Colorado. The weather had been interesting and the sky was showing some promise so I decided to reroute my trip a little to the west and go home through Monument Valley. It was a great decision!

I arrived at Artist Point, a favorite overlook, to a light drizzle of rain under a grey and overcast sky. The sky to the west looked better so I decided to wait and see what happened. About 30 minutes later, the photo above happened. I love that the color of the landscape gets reflected on the bottom of the clouds. The rain muted the colors and contrast a bit which I also like. Most of the Monument Valley images are in bright sun with deep shadows. I prefer this pastel coloring since I don't see it all that often.

I continued to make images until the sun was fading in the west. There's really only one place to stay at the park so I checked in to the hotel hoping for a great sunrise before heading for home. I was not disappointed. After a handful of mediocre trips to Monument Valley, I finally got one that worth the effort. I hope you enjoy "Clearing Storm, Artist Point, Monument Valley, Arizona" as much as I do.


Martha Burger(non-registered)
Fabulous image and I love the story. Patience is the photographer's best friend -- a trait that doesn't come naturally to me! Thanks for sharing, Dusty.
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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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