Sacred Rock

During our trip to Colorado we made a quick detour to Farmington, NM, Pam's hometown, to take care of some family business. Farmington is in the NW corner of the state, very close to the "four corners". Farmington also is right next to the Navajo Nation, the largest area retained by a US tribe at approximately 27,000 square miles in size. One of the prominent features of the Eastern section of the Navajo Nation is Ship Rock, a nearly 1,600 foot high rock formation rising above the desert floor. Ship Rock is an important part of Navajo religion, mythology and tradition. 

Here's a map to show you where Ship Rock is in relation to the rest of the world.


Pam and I made the 30 minute drive out from Farmington to photograph Ship Rock. We didn't have much time and it was late morning when we got there but fortunately there were some clouds in the sky. I took a number of images at various focal lengths. Here is one taken at 50mm (100mm equivalent) from a distance of perhaps 3 to 4 miles:

Sacred Rock - Ship Rock Rises Above The Desert Floor

As with most of the images from this trip, I had a polarizing filter on the lens. I also bracketed 3 shots at my "standard" -2, 0, +2 levels and combined the images in Lightroom. I also used the Nik/Google plugins of HDR Efex Pro 2, Viveza 2, Dfine, and Sharpener Pro to bring back some of the color, detail and drama that this image has in better light. I'm pleased with the result though next time we're out in the area I want to get out to photograph Ship Rock at either Sunrise or Sunset.

Black and White Anyone?

For some variety I took the image above and opened it in Silver Efex pro to convert it to a B&W image. I like the final product and I think B&W landscape shots are great, especially if there is something dramatic in the scene. I think a 1,600 foot tall stone monolith qualifies as dramatic, don't you?

Sacred Rock Plate 2

A Question

Which image do you like more the color or B&W version? I'd be interested in hearing you preference. Let me know by leaving a comment below.