Beauty is all around out in the Grand Canyon south of the Utah Border. You take a dirt road from Colorado City, 67 miles across the rugged Arizona Strip before getting to this spot. The dirt road is so primitive that a lot of people are not willing to take the risk. This area is a hot sport for serious landscape photographers who are familiar with the Southwest. I photographed this with an emphasis on the porous sandstone bathed in early morning light.
Thanks to the Supai people and their land, we have one of the most precious gemstones in all of the Southwest, Mooney Falls. The water cascades over the cliff over 200 feet to the bottom. Havasupai is known for it’s turquoise blue waters but I wanted to emphasize the texture of the travertine in this shot because it’s actually the main focal point with the water fall being a distraction. It’s all about the texture, man!
This kinda reminded of Arron Ralston who lost his arm to a boulder in a Bluejohn Canyon out in the remote part of Canyonlands. This right here is a car that been lodged down in this slot canyon since probably the late fifties or sixties… who knows, maybe a massive flash flood wedged it down into there over 30 years ago. The car is now apart of the erosion process, so-to-be-an-artifact!
After getting stuck on a ledge and being taught a lesson by the canyon, I took this picture above Beaver Falls! It’s a long story but let’s just put it this way; I’ve been to Havasupai in Grand Canyon many times. It’s rugged beauty gets more rough as you head deeper and deeper into the side canyon before it empties into the Rio Colorado. The blue water is colored by a mineral known as Travertine which redeposits itself and forms these waters falls from driftwood dams and other debris. I just got back from this trip last night and it was one of the more memorable trips and visits amongst the Supai!
I’m not going to exaggerate the colors you usually see in photographs or other landscapes captured around the Southwest. These colors here are about as natural as I can get them other than the white balance on a digital camera being subjective. I’m not going to go out of my way and add strong color to these images, because it makes them look fake. Instead, I try to mimic the beauty of what I saw with my own eyes. Antelope Canyon is a beautiful place to visit but I need to spend more time in there to capture better images. As a tour guide, I’m always on a tight schedule and it would be fun to kick back and slow things down a bit when I visit these places.
This is some strange light in Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Rez. I didn’t quite know how to balance the color but I upped it a little in Lightroom. Usually you need a decent tripod to shoot a slot canyon but I didn’t have any. So I put the ISO on about 800 and shot everything on that using the GF1. Here’s some wavy contour lines in Antelope Canyon. The light is pretty dramatic.
Havasu Falls has changed so much since 2008. However, it remains so beautiful to me. I’m forever tied to the land of the Supai. It’s hard to describe how a memory can weld you to a time and place and have it be so significant to who you are as a person…
Mooney Falls just after sundown. This waterfall in the Grand Canyon, located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation is a two hundred foot drop!
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round… The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours…
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” – Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man, 1863-1950
Here is another rock art panel, a pictograph made in Barrier Canyon style and left by ancient Western Archaic Indians that inhabited that Canyonlands region of Southeastern Utah 1,000-6,000 B.C. I just returned from a 10 day trip venturing to different petroglyph/pictograph sites and photographing them. So look forward to some incredible images being posted here on Desert Dream. This site specific is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Please don’t ask me for the location. It is not known to the general public. It’s the only way to protect the site from reckless vandals who need to be taken out and shot.