Vermillion Cliffs NM, Arizona, USA by Matt Payne

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Picture Story

Upon my first visit to Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Northern Arizona, I was graced with one of the longest and most wonderfully beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. The sun had set a good 45 minutes before this shot was taken, yet the red light still diffused through the atmosphere and lit up the clouds above me. This is why I absolutely love photographing in Blue Hour. It always delivers the goods, in my opinion, and offers the best color palate. This late red light also cast a soft light on the white rocks here and made for a quite inviting scene. For this shot, I got really low to the ground with my tripod and my wide angle Laowa 15mm lens and the Sony A7R2 body. I decided to use a single exposure here and let the foreground stay slightly soft, not to distract from the overall scene above it. I really loved how the small pool here looked like a dragon's eye.

Lastly, I'd recommend a solid 4x4 vehicle to get to this area, its quite a crazy road in. I was happy with how my Toyota 4Runner performed here and would recommend something similar with a lift and good tires. Good luck!

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