Monument Valley is one of the most unique and photographed locations on Earth. The Navajo Nation preserves the Navajo way of life and helps keep the most striking and recognizable landscape of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest from destruction. The majestic buttes and red sandstone colors portray an unearthly appearance and have been featured in dozens of movies.
Lerro Productions organized a photo tour in April 2017 that featured a mixture of both landscape and portrait opportunities. During our trip, we had the fantastic opportunity to spend three nights in a hogan, which is in the private land behind the Mittens. Our Navajo guide took us to a number of private and hidden locations that allowed us to get pictures that the general public can’t get. One of our favorite spots was Hunts Mesa. The drive up took nearly 2 hours and gave us several great shots in the backcountry. Once we made it to the top, we got to experience the grand vista that overlooks the entire Monument Valley park. When we finished at the top, our guide took us back a different route that gave us even more photo opportunities. Once we got back to the park, we set up for sunset and we were able to capture the shadow of the West Mitten on the East Mitten.
On the second night, our guide took us back into the backcountry so we could spent a couple of hours photographing the Milky Way over the Totem Pole. A little haze rolled in at dawn but quickly burned off at sunrise which allowed us to photograph the dramatic lines of the sand dunes around the Totem Pole. During the morning, a few low-lying clouds formed around the buttes which provided us even more great photo opportunities.
On the third day, we got the opportunity to photograph portraits and historic reenactments such as rug weaving and sheepherding. To finish off this trip, we photographed a livestock skull on the sand dunes overlooking the Mittens.