Stormy Dawn at Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii

We arrived at the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park with great anticipation. It was just before sunset and the storm that would wail through the night was already rolling in but I managed one or two exposures of the Mittens before the light failed. We booked a guide for early the next morning even though we knew it would probably be a wash out.

And it was. We bounced around in his old truck in the dark and gloom only seeing an occasional ray of sunlight among the clouds lying nearly on the ground. Eventually the clouds lifted a bit and I was able to grab a few shots, including this one, between showers.

I’ve posted this image before but every time I upgrade my processing software I go back and see if I can tweak a little more out of these kinds of photos. In this case, the four new Tone sliders in Lightroom 4 helped me tune the Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Black separately to better effect.

Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona-Utah state line (around 36°59′N 110°6′W), near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation, and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.

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