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Monument Valley (or as the Navajos call it Tseí Biií Ndzisgaii) conjures up images of iconic western films namely because it was made famous by Hollywood director John Ford's films such as "Stagecoach" and "The Searchers" and his mainstay actor John Wayne. Even if you have never ventured to Monument Valley you would instantly recognize it due to the numerous movies, television commercials, music videos and print advertisements that have used this Navajo Tribal Park as a background. As a result, it is difficult to come away with some great photographs without having it be a cliche.

I always dreamed of making a pilgrimage to Monument Valley because I am a huge fan of the Western genre. Also, from a photographic point of view it is the apex symbol of the American Southwest.

Since this is a Navajo Tribal Park access is limited to a 17-mile self-drive circuit. The road is a bit rough in some areas but I drove it over the course of two days with a small compact rental car with ice in some places. My recommendation would be to take a guided tour to get an overview of the park and then come back later to do the valley drive to shoot in the best light. I stayed at Goulding's Lodge just outside the park boundary. It's a little more expensive than accommodations in Mexican Hat or Kayenta but every room has a private balcony with superb views of the valley.

I captured this photo with my amazing Canon Powershot G9 compact camera! It was very windy that day but I knew there was going to be a spectacular moonrise that evening. I was shooting with my Canon 5D on a tripod but the wind was kicking up so much that I called it quits and went back to my car. Once inside I saw this image and quickly grabbed the G9 and rolled down my window to capture this moment in time.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Monument Valley Navajo Indian Moonrise Moon Dusk Sam Antonio Sam Antonio Photography Tseí Biií Ndzisgaii John Ford Western Southwest Travel Southwest Photography Powershot G9 Compact Camera Tribal Park Valley United States Utah Goulding's Lodging Mexican Hat Canon Photography Movie Location Mittens Monument Sam Antonio Photography Blog Travel Photography Landscape Arizona Silhouette World Trekker John Wayne Hollywood Double Exposure mywinners Nature Horizontal Outdoors Cloud Rock Formation Rock Day Rainbow Arid Climate The Mittens Scenics Weather Physical Geography Monument Valley Tribal Park Color Image No People Photography Moody Sky Dramatic Sky Natural Landmark Horizon Over Land. Moon Rising Geology

N 76 B 39.7K C 56 E Jan 25, 2013 F Feb 5, 2013
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In Kauai, Hawaii you have sunshine and rain and then more rain. That’s fine with me as long as there isn’t any snow in the forecast. Remember there are no snowblowers in paradise.

Last month I was on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii (The Garden Isle). This photo I took of Hanalei Bay, in the North Shore of Kauai, is straight out of the camera (and Santa Claus is a real guy). It was raining and overcast when I took this shot so I had to do some tweaks in Apple Aperture. The photo was in bad shape.

Maybe I can blame it on my camera lens. Look closely and you can see that most of the scene isn’t very sharp. I attribute that to my beaten up Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens. I think it is in need of calibration, but I am too lazy to bring it in to the local Canon repair center.

I am trying to remember when my lens when out of whack. Was it when I took it along on an ill-advised horseback riding trip in Costa Rica where I was nearly thrown off my horse? Maybe when I was photographing on top of an elephant in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Riding an elephant is fine for the first ten minutes, but then all the swaying back and forth gets old and besides, it isn’t the safest thing for an expensive camera lens. Perhaps it was when I was in the back of a motorbike in Vietnam. I kept hearing this clanking noise and I thought it was the motorbike about to fall apart. Only did I realize since I was carry my camera with a Black Rapid camera sling, that the lens was banging against the motorbike. Not a good thing.

Or perhaps I suck as a photographer.

I seldom make Flickr Explore (has anybody figured out how that works) and I rarely win any photograph competitions (maybe it would help if I submitted some photos).

Okay, is there a Un-Suck filter in Apple Aperture?

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Pacific Agriculture Horizontal Outdoors High Angle View Farm Blue Tropical Climate Lush Foliage Sky Eroded Palm Tree Mountain Mountain Range Volcano Sunset Sea Hawaii Islands Kauai Pacific Islands Taro Color Image Beauty In Nature No People Photography Extreme Terrain Dramatic Sky Hanalei Bay Wilderness. Sam Antonio Photo Locations Kauai Hawaii Kauai Hawaii Hawaiian Islands Sam Antonio Photography Canon 24-105 f/4 lens Tranquil Scene Nature USA Cloud Rock Reflection Scenics Grass Horizon Over Water Green - Color Landscape Day Forest Overcast Remote Travel Kauai Photo Guide Travel Photography Landscape Photography Unsuck Filter Aperture 3 Canon 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II

N 32 B 9.6K C 54 E Sep 1, 2011 F Nov 19, 2011
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"The Yellowstone Park is something absolutely unique in the world..." -President Theodore Roosevelt

Located in the Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful is the most recognized landmark of Yellowstone National Park. While it is not the largest geyser, it is the most predictable, erupting about every ninety minutes or so.

Taken near the visitors center near the viewing benches, this is a popular spot to admire this symbol of Yellowstone. Just watch out for steam on your camera lens!

The sun was setting behind Old Faithful as it erupted much to the applause of the surrounding spectators and to this happy photographer.

Happy Travels!

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Being in Yellowstone National Park is amazing.

Being in Yellowstone National Park in the Fall is simply spectacular.

Being in Yellowstone National Park and being paid for it is awesome!

I just came back from a very quick trip to Yellowstone National Park. I was there for a work related project to capture still and video stock footage.

This is Artist Point in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. As I arrived there with my co-worker there were already hundreds of people fresh from their tour buses snapping photographs. I simply made my way were they weren’t congregating and found this viewpoint. The trees were a perfect framing device and added depth to the overall scene.

Sometimes it pays off to venture on your own and not follow the herd mentality.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Although Dead Horse Point State Park is not part of Canyonlands National Park, its vicinity to the park (its near the entrance to Island in the Sky), amazing panoramic views and solitude makes it a must see stop for any landscape photographer.

I’m getting writer’s block so I’ll “borrow” some lines from the official description of the park: The legend of Dead Horse Point states that around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck was then fenced off with branches and brush. One time, for some unknown reason, horses were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below.

Personally I find this place much more intriguing than the Grand Canyon. Hollywood has found this place intriguing too.

It was here at Dead Horse State Park where Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon drove off a cliff and into a canyon in the classic road movie "Thelma and Louise" (in the movie they were supposedly at the Grand Canyon).

[last lines]
Thelma Dickerson: [with a cliff in front of them and cops behind them]
Thelma Dickerson: OK, then listen; let's not get caught.
Louise Sawyer: What're you talkin' about?
Thelma Dickerson: Let's keep goin'!
Louise Sawyer: What d'you mean?
Thelma Dickerson: ...Go.
Thelma Dickerson: [Thelma nods ahead of them]
Louise Sawyer: You sure?
Thelma Dickerson: Yeah.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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