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Buttes in the Spotlights
In the spring of 2018, a friend and I spent three days at The View Hotel inside the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. The hotel is well-named and every room has a spectacular view of this iconic location. Being on the Navajo reservation, your freedom of movement is somewhat limited unless you hire a Navajo guide—something I need to do on a future visit—but when staying at the hotel, you have ready access to this classic location.
Admittedly, the Mittens been photographed so many times that the red rorbu of Hamnøy, Lofoten, are undiscovered by comparison. But, the light is just so spectacular, and, better yet, so different each morning and evening, that it is rewarding nonetheless. In a 72 hour stay, there are three sunrises and three sunsets that are all very different from each other depending on the clouds, wind, and dust. It was an extremely productive time for me, photographically.
For this photograph, I used a full-frame fisheye lens relatively close to the foreground rock to give it prominence. I kept the horizon near the center of the frame to keep the fisheye from curving it too much. I could have straightened the slight curvature that remains, but like the feeling of vastness that results from the slight curve that hints at the Earth’s round shape.
Unfortunately, the foreground rock has, in reality, been marred by some obnoxious individual carving his initials into the relatively soft rock. Much as Ansel Adams was “not enough of a purist to perpetuate the scar” of a whitewashed L P on the slopes of the Alabama Hills and ruthlessly eliminated all traces of it from his prints of “Winter Sunrise”, I used what skill I have with Affinity Photo to mitigate someone’s selfishness.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor