Pic of the Week 8/4/16: Monument Valley
Location: Monument Valley (Oljato-Monument Valley)
Date captured: 6/22/16
I dropped the ball last week and forgot to post a Pic of the Week. But I am back and almost finished with all my vacation photos and I’m very excited to share all of them with you. This week’s photo is something I decided to do a little different. It’s certainly not my favorite photo from my trip, but it is one I put more thought in to. I was so eager to visit these famous locations and try to capture the natural beauty. And while what I captured and experienced was truly amazing there were hundreds of other photographers, amateurs, and tourists that were next to me capturing the same shot. So how do I make my photo jump out from the rest? What can I do different to create a unique piece of work of such an iconic location where probably millions have stood right where I was and captured something similar?
I really thought about that and the challenge it brought. I considered lens choice, composition, location, etc. I finally decided I would use my Lee Big Stopper 10 stop neutral density filter and drag the shutter to create the sense of movement in the sky. The static foreground makes a great contrast to the soft sky. But once I actually took this image into Photoshop for processing I wanted to make it even more different. Monument Valley is a remarkable place. The 500+ft mittens and rock formations they are so impressive and humbling. The red rock looks great against a beautiful blue sky and if you come at the right time of the year the valley below is green with lush vegetation and grasses. But again, I wanted something different. So I desaturated all the color and kept the eye focusing on the natural lines, textures, and patterns of the scene. I was happy with the result and I think I captured the unique image I sought after.
Monument Valley in Monochrome © Ben Jacobi