Agathla Revisted, Arizona

Agathla Revisted, Arizona

One of the funny things about shooting shoulder to shoulder with friends throughout a multi-day photo trip is that eventually your photos start to overlap and subject matter repeats. So, for anyone following along with our group pool seeing the photos from my fellow travelers Suad, John, and Scott, I probably seem to be repeating material now, but it can't be helped.

This peak, known as El Capitan to some, and Agathla by the Navajo, is a volcanic plug rising abruptly out of the landscape on the drive towards Monument Valley in Arizona. While visiting the area last year we made a very similar stop to this spot after shooting Monument Valley, and we repeated that again under similar cloud and moonlight.

The clouds were lit beautifully by the nearly full moon and they were moving quickly. With the moon at our backs it was difficult to frame the peak and the clouds together. I began by shooting close to the road and eventually wandered quite a ways, maybe 300 yards, north to change my perspective to bring the clouds around 'behind' the peak. However, John and Suad have already posted images from similar perspectives and I've decided to share my first photo taken close to the road. In the end I'm happy with the way the peak and the clouds share and split the frame, and the clouds take on an appearance of bending around Agathla, rather than radiating from behind it. I strongly recommend taking a look at the other shots in the pool too though.

I don't see much fuss about visiting Agathla when reading up about the southwest, but I love it. If you're on your way to Monument Valley I suggest taking in Agathla too. You can see my 2008 versions of Agathla here, here, and here, and my 2009 self-portrait at Agathla here.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@18mm | f/8 | 186s | ISO200 | Tripod

Tyler Westcott Photography on Facebook