Photographing Monument Valley
Monument Valley offers great opportunities for amazing photography. As the light changes throughout the day, look for contrasts between the sky and the red sandstones. A saturated deep blue sky juxtaposed against the orange and red buttes, shadows lengthening across the plain.
There is no artificial light to spoil photography. Sunset and sunrise can be the best times to take pictures. A desert sunrise is colorful and silhouettes the rock formations. In the evening, at sunset, the valley can turn a deep, rich red in the last rays of the sun. A stormy afternoon sky above the valley can be a spectacular sight, and pools of water after rain capture beautiful reflections. As the valley is high desert, don’t be too surprised to see snow in the off-season, and take the opportunity to photograph some unusual scenes.
To take pictures of the residents of the valley, remember that this is their home. Ask permission before taking a picture and expect to pay a small gratuity.
- A digital SLR
- Polarizing filter
- Patience: wait for the sky to change and give you the perfect shot.
Some of the Navajo guides are photographers, and offer tours and expert advice. Ask at the entrance to the park and at the visitor’s center. Expect to pay 50 to 100 dollars for a guided tour, and remember that without a guide, you will not be able to leave the loop road. It’s worth it to get behind the Merrick and Mitten buttes and out around Thunderbid Mesa, or to see the dunes at Totem.
Find some inspiration for photographing the valley here.