Monument Valley

A clear day in Monument Valley never happens…

Back a long time ago, my Job was an interesting thing. I’d go out for two weeks at a time and photograph the outdoors. I sometimes did video too, but that was rare, my business partner liked doing the video work. Me, I just hauled a 70 pound backpack full of camera gear and took thousands and thousands of pictures.

The other two weeks of the month was spent processing all of that and putting it in books, magazines and on the web. This was around 2000, so we were a bit ahead of our time. (We even did video work from a team we sent to summit Aconcagua.)

One trip took us to Monument Valley; one of the most picturesque places in all the world. It was just so.damn.big! Roads curved with the Earth into red monoliths. Anasazi ruins stood in blank testament to a once thriving population. The color contrasts confused the brain. I wanted SO many pictures.

But, as usual, there was a hitch. The damn place was always hazy (fucking power plants!). It took a lot of work, time and patience to cut through that haze, and sometimes it took magic. The picture above was actually 12 pictures, painfully processed and stitched together…I used to have it hanging on my wall and it was a three foot wonder of perseverance.

“Big deal!” You might say. I’d agree…the cropping on the right always pissed me off. But it was a big deal and a bit of a life’s lesson.

Sometimes you have to be patient. You need to work, let time pass and even pull magic out of your ass to see the Clear Picture.

Even then, it’s still a trick of light and an illusion that many will bitch about. Learn to live with that and you’ll be happy.

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