Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Posts tagged “Arizona

Soaring Raven

Soaring Raven

 

While I was perched high on the canyon rim, looking down 600’ to the bottom, the ravens ride the thermals and updrafts. Whirling and wheeling along the cliffs, they seemed joyous fluttering in the wind.

In the best light…


Canyon deChelly

Canyon deChelly

 

The dust storm rages overhead while the sun burns through the haze to light the bottom of the canyon. The green foliage marks the course of the water, when the rain does fall.

In the best light…


Spider Rock

Spider Rock

 

Looking down into Canyon deChelly, Spider Rock is an amazing spire. It looks to be the inspiration for some of the old Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons. Another of the sights that make Arizona a treat for photographers.

In the best light…


Hazy Sunrise, Monument Valley

Hazy Sunrise, Monument Valley

 

One of my favourite locations, there is a wealth of photo opportunities around here. I could have spent weeks here and not exhausted my fascination with the place.

In the best light…


Elephant Butte From North Window

Elephant Butte from North Window

 

Most of Elephant Butte is still shadow by the rock formation to my right. The sun is just touching the top of the butte, while the structures in the open are fully lit.

In the best light…


The Mittens

The Mittens

 

This week I’m revisiting a place that I’m yearning to actually revisit, Monument Valley. It straddles the Utah-Arizona border within the Navajo Indian reservation. The Navajo Nation operates the Monument Valley Tribal Park and regulates entry to the area.

This scene is one of the most photographed locations. It features both the East and West Mitten as well as Merrick Butte. What you can’t see are the dozens of other photographers on either side of me. Farther into the park and later into the day as well as very early the next day, the crowds thinned dramatically. Shooting the dawn the next day, I practically had the place to myself.

In the best light…


Sedona Evening

Sedona Evening

 

Sedona was our last overnight stop on this photo trip before Phoenix and our departure for home. By this time, I was getting a little burned out. It had been two weeks of 12 to 14 hour days, either driving or shooting. I had planned to get out and about to the shoot the sights around Sedona but couldn’t put together the energy to leave the hotel room. This week’s images are a tip for the lazy photographer: Get a great hotel room and shoot from the balcony.

In the best light…


The Edge Of Twilight

The Edge Of Twilight

 

The evening light really brought out the red color in the rocks around Sedona. The vegetation absorbed the light making it look even darker than the bare rock formations that reflected the brightness.

In the best light…


Red Rock Glow

Red Rock Glow

 

Sedona is kind of a magical town, I’m sure that it’s filled with hipsters and all of the trendy people but the area itself and the landscape seem magical to me. The brilliant red rock is everywhere and no matter where you look there’s a great picture.

In the best light…


Before Moonset, Yaki Point

Before Moonset, Yaki Point

 

In order for the moon to be full, it must be on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. So, moonrise happens at sunset and moonset happens at sunrise. Two days after the full moon the moon is still in the sky when the sun is up. The sun is up high enough to reach into the canyon but hasn’t reached the Colorado River at the bottom of the gorge.

In the best light…


Morning In The Canyon

Morning In The Canyon

 

Early or late in the day is when I think the Grand Canyon looks the best. The strong cross lighting highlights the deep crevasses in the rock formations showing the textures and patterns of the strata.

In the best light…


Dawn At The Grand Canyon

Dawn At The Grand Canyon

 

The light comes in hard, the first thing in the morning at the Grand Canyon. When the sun gets above the horizon enough peer deeper into the recesses, it hits the canyon wall creating dark shadows on the formations behind. The early light is very warm looking, giving the coloured rock a deep rich hue.

In the best light…


Across From Vishnu Temple

Across From Vishnu Temple

 

Early explorers in the Grand Canyon must have been hearty souls with a rounded education in foreign religion and mythology. In the center is Vishnu Temple, I believe to the left is Wotan’s Throne. Isis, Osiris, Diana and Jupiter all make appearances in Grand Canyon nomenclature.

On this morning, the sun’s ray are starting to shine down the canyon creating streaks of light. The smaller formation in the canyon is being lit by reflected light from the cliff where I’m standing.

In the best light…


Moonrise Over The Canyon

Moonrise over the Canyon

 

The sun had just dipped below the horizon in the west, and when I turned around the moon had risen above the Kaibab Plateau for the evening. Starting into the Blue Hour the colours were more muted than with the direct sunlight shining on them.

In the best light…


Above The Kaibab Trail

Above The Kaibab Trail

 

Evening falls on the Grand Canyon and it gets dark quickly deep in the recesses. From this vantage point, you can see the Kaibab Trail, one of the main paths to the canyon floor, and the Colorado River far below.

In the best light…


Golden Light On The North Rim

Golden Light on the North Rim

 

The sun sets quickly in Arizona compared to here above the Fiftieth Parallel. The shadows are deep and dark in the interior of the Grand Canyon. Preserving the details in all of that dimness can be a chore. The highlighted formations stand out.

In the best light…


Hikers’ Rest

Hikers' Rest

 

Two hikers take some time out of their day at the Grand Canyon to sit and read in the last of the sun’s rays for the day. The late afternoon light gives off a warm glow on the light coloured rocks.

In the best light…


Canyon View From The Rim Trail

Canyon View from the Rim Trail

 

Meanwhile, back at the Grand Canyon, there is just so much to see and although it is recognizable every shot seems to be different. Taken in the late afternoon, I like the sun highlighting the formations on the opposite rim. It shows off the interesting patterns in the way that the erosion has worked it’s magic on the strata of the canyon.

In the best light…


Morning On The Three Sisters

Morning On The Three Sisters

 

The rich warmth of the early morning sun really saturated the colour in this image. The rocks seem to almost glow with the hues. The horses don’t mind, they are used to it, and go on eating. The horses belong to one of the many families of Navajo that live in Monument Valley, adding to an already colourful scene.

In the best light…


Shiprock Memories

Shiprock Memories

 

I’ve probably said it before, I have a real attachment to Shiprock. Tsé Bitʼaʼí or Rock With Wings is sacred to the Navajo people and was a frequent destination of young men on vision quests. It’s very high on my list of return destinations, like my own vision quest.

In this image, the haze was very heavy at the time and from twelve miles away, it is just intensified. I put aside my bias towards super-sharp images and wanted to capture the mood. I liked the graphic nature of the composition. It reminds me of Pete Turner in more subdued colours.

In the best light…


Hazy Morning, Monument Valley

Hazy Sunrise, Monument Valley

 

I may have mentioned it before, I love the American Southwest and Monument Valley has a special place in my heart. The majesty of this location is hard to translate to mere pixels, but I’ve made my attempt. There were lots of photographers around the Mittens near sunset, but just after sunrise in the off peak season, I had this spot to myself. For photographers, it means double checking your exposure, focus and composition, while the light is changing very quickly as the sun is rising. At the same time, you try to take some time to drink in the scene, the peace and the tranquility, and be, maybe just a little pleased with yourself.

In the best light…


Colorado River From Desert View

Colorado River From Desert View

 

If you haven’t seen it before, grand is just a word. The tiny looking Colorado River below supports both Lake Powell near Page, AZ and Lake Mead near Las Vegas, NV, and many others. The twenty five miles from here at Desert View to the Grand Canyon Village is less than one tenth the distance of the entire Grand Canyon. It is up to 18 miles wide and over 6000 feet deep in places. Grand indeed.

In the best light…


This Way Up

This Way Up

 

The Saguaro Cactus is iconic to Arizona and are interesting to photograph. We were returning to Phoenix from Sedona at the end of our travels when my wife, Sherri commented that she hadn’t noticed me take any cactus pictures previously and would like a photo of a saguaro to remember the trip. On the way out of the city to the north east towards Payson on highway 87, In there were thousands of them (and I didn’t stop there). We didn’t see any in northern Arizona or on the Navajo Reservation. I pulled off of I17 near New River and just drove a short distance from the interstate to get this image. I thought it looked like someone making a finger gun and pointing it at the sky.

In the best light…


Petrified

Petrified

 

The petrified logs that are just laying about at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona are amazing to see. From a distance they do look like logs or chunks of logs but up close you can see the crystalline structures within the tree shapes. If you stop at Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. before you enter the park, make sure you haven’t lost your receipt, they will ask at the park entrance.

In the best light…