After driving for 17 plus hours straight through from Texas to Monument Valley in Utah/Arizona and arriving at 4:00am, I did a little shooting at night then found a spot to park my truck out of the way. I got settled in and took about an hour and a half long nap in my truck before my alarm went off to wake me up so I could be ready for the sunrise.
It was 34 degrees when I woke up and climbed out to see the sunrise. Being winter and the middle of the week, there were almost no tourists in the area, and there was not another person at all up anywhere that I could see (and you can see a long way out there!), so it was totally quiet and calm with a cool crispness in the air. I found this scene and set up my gear and waited to see what happened over the next half our. Just as the sun came up over the horizon I was able to grab this shot of one of a mesa and a small butte with the early morning, orange glow from the sun at a low angle lighting them.
This area called Monument Valley is huge, spanning miles, and though some of the mesas and buttes are closer together, many are spread around the area, so if you want to catch this fleeting moment of light on more than one of these, you really have to do it over several days because there isn't time to move from one to another with the short time that the sun is giving you this light. Hopefully I can come back at some point and really spend a lot of time here photographing more of these in this light.
December 13th, 2014
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