The Second Wave, Coyote Buttes North, Arizona

The Second Wave, Coyote Buttes North, Arizona

After hiking through the Coyote Buttes North area to visit the area around the "Lace Rocks" I described a couple days ago, and after spending considerable time around "The Wave" itself, we had a couple hours left to explore the area. Probably the next most recognizable area of the Coyote Buttes North is this sandstone formation, commonly referred to as the "Second Wave". With periodic bits of light rain the idea of climbing up (and eventually down) the steep rock face behind the wave to visit any other major features, we decided NOT to get ourselves in trouble and head out to this landmark instead - along relatively level ground.

Finding the feature was not too difficult, though there are no guides out there and it requires a little exploring. It's about 200-300 yards west of the wave - walk too high and you'll find yourself climbing uphill, too low and you'll end up in a little canyon - really, you can't miss it.

With the rain came some gloomy overcast skies which meant unfortunate light for bringing out the wonderful colors and texture of the sandstone. I shot this with Fuji Velvia for its great color and contrast rendition - just what was needed under this light. I suspect the overwhelming majority of photos of the second wave are taken between this shot, and about 10 feet to my left - like the primary Wave it seems to lend itself to one particular framing, and beyond that I found it difficult (though not impossible) to find another composition that I was truly happy with, though I'm sure there are many great shots waiting to be taken. The colors of the second wave are generally a bit lighter than the main wave, and being less-visited seems to be in better shape too. Definitely worth a visit if you make it all the way out there.

Note: This was taken on my 4-day run around the American Southwest with friends Suad, John, and Scott. You can see more in our collective photo pool here, and if you join the pool you'll have access to some additional images not seen in our photostreams as well (if you're interested).

Tachihara 4x5 | Schneider Super-Angulon 90mm f/8 | f/32 | 1/15s | Fuji Velvia 50 | Tripod

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