Monument Valley From the Air

On my way back from Alaska, I drove through Utah and stopped at Moab for several days. I reserved an airplane from Redtail Aviation to fly me around the southeastern quadrant of the state, certainly one of the prettiest parts of the world. On the appointed morning, as I drove to the airport, heavy rain started to fall. I almost cancelled the flight, but went ahead with it. My feeling was that the weather might help tell the story of the extraordinary land forms. Monument Valley is in the Four Corners area on Navajo land. I had photographed these buttes from the ground many times before on sunny days. But somehow, those shots don’t match this one. Ironically, the overcast skies softened the heavy shadows found on sunny days. The rain also deepened the redness of the rock, creating a very saturated, vivid landscape.

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