Self Portrait at Agathla, Arizona

Self Portrait at Agathla Peak, Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

I just returned yesterday from a 4-day marathon run around the American Southwest with good friends Suad, John, and Scott photographing some of the amainzg sites unique to the area. We returned to many places that we'd been to the previous year, including the peak known as Agathla, just outside Monument Valley in Arizona. We photographed this wonderful peak last year under very similar conditions - after the last traces of daylight faded from Monument Valley itself, we backtracked towards Kayenta Arizona to shoot under a full moon.

We were treated to exceptionally good light and clouds and had a great time photographing here. After driving further down the road than we had the previous year to find the vantage point for Agathla most directly lit by moonlight (and narrowest profile of the peak) I felt content with what I'd photographed. While my 3-minute exposure was going I had seated myself comfortably on the rocky ground and got the idea to do a self-portrait in this spot. It's one thing to do a studio-style self portrait, but I tend to be happiest with the photographs at night, taking my time, waiting for exposures to form and to see what's revealed at the end. I decided to move the tripod back, zoom out a bit, and take a shot of myslef under the kind of conditions I most like to shoot.

This was actually my second of two attempts. For my first I had to start the exposure and then move into the shot, and at the end return to the camera to stop it. I misplaced my shutter release during that exposure and was generally a little too blurry. I asked my friend Suad to start and stop the exposure for this attempt so that I didn't have to move during the 3 minute exposure and I'm much happier with the result.

Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20@10mm | f/8 | 183s | Tripod

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