The Rock formations of Monument Valley would have to be one of the most recognizable natural landscapes on Earth. Featured in countless films, Monument Valley is considered the quintessential American West. The enormous sandstone masterpieces we see today were revealed over 50 million years by the erosive forces of wind and water. Driving through the desert landscape is an incredible yet somehow “eerie” experience. You just don’t feel like you’re on planet Earth!
Monument Valley was “made” for panoramic photography! No other format does justice to the vast grandeur of the landscape. It’s always been a dream of mine (Shaun) to experience and photograph this magical place, and while my visit was fleeting, I was lucky enough to capture this breathtaking sunset.
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The incredible beauty of Antelope Canyon blows you away the moment you enter its sacred passageways. Over thousands of years the erosive forces of water during flash floods have sculpted the Navajo sandstone into the most exquisite forms and shapes. As the soft, reflected light filters down through the canyon’s narrow walls, the forms, textures, contrast and colours become a photographers paradise. Carefully calculating the exposure, the light is allowed to slowly bleed onto the film for over two minutes, saturating the colours and producing the most divine palette of yellows and oranges through to deep reds and purples. This majestic canyon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of all natural formations on Earth…
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Towering over Yosemite Valley, El Capitan (or more affectionately amongst rock climbers, “El Cap”) rises more than 900 meters (3,000 feet) from the valley floor. Over the eons, this massive lump of pure granite has been carved by glacial action, forming the sheer rock face it has become so famous for. Now considered the standard for big-wall climbing, many routes have been established up El Cap’s Southwest and Southeast wall’s. On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson famously completed the first free climb (yes, no ropes!) of the Dawn Wall, considered one of the hardest climbs in the world, Crazy!
Standing in the Merced River as the setting sun casts a warm red glow on El Cap’s Southwest wall, I’m (Shaun) totally blown away with the beauty of the place! I feel so privileged to have experienced the incredible national parks of America’s Southwest, without a doubt one of the most fascinating, beautiful and photogenic regions on Earth. I’ll be back!
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