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Shiprock (Navajo: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, 'rock with wings' or 'winged rock' is a monadnock rising nearly 1,583 feet (482.5 m) above the high-desert plain of the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. Its peak elevation is 7,177 feet (2,187.5 m) above sea level. It is about 10.75 miles (17.30 km) southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak.
Governed by the Navajo Nation, the formation is in the Four Corners region and plays a significant role in Navajo religion, myth, and tradition. It is located in the center of the area occupied by the Ancient Pueblo People, a prehistoric Native American culture of the Southwest United States often referred to as the Anasazi. Shiprock is a point of interest for rock climbers and photographers and has been featured in several film productions and novels. It is the most prominent landmark in northwestern New Mexico. In 1975, Shiprock was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.
This is the first time in many years that I have visited this location. This time I wanted to find a composition that would show the massive rock, but also a blend of Shiprock and the surrounding environment. Besides the rock, wall-like sheets of Minette, known as dikes, radiate away from the central formation. I decided the long line of the Minette sheets would make a strong line leading to the rock. To put it all together I worked for some time flying my Mavic 2 Pro drone searching for the best place for my composition. I decided the location in the image was what I was looking for. Now that I knew where I wanted to make my image all I had to do was wait for sunset.
Photographing with my drone is what I consider just another tool for image-making. The one thing that limits the drone's use is its battery which is good for about 15 to 18 minutes. So that is the reason I worked hard to find my composition before sunset.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor