This is a shot of Shiprock, New Mexico. The title is borrowed from Glenn Randall’s excellent article published on Outdoor Photographer Magazine.
The first time I stood here, I asked myself: “That’s it?” I could not understand why Shiprock is considered as a top location by some landscape photographers. Sure, the peak is nice, and the dikes are interesting. However, unlike most other colorful sandstone formations in Southwest, Shiprock is made of volcanic rock which has a very dull color. If you have never been there in person, here is what it looks like in daytime, and here are more images from Google search. Totally uninspirational.
Well, I changed my opinion a few days later. That morning the sky was very cloudy. A storm was brewing. Not to be deterred by the “bad” weather, I still came to the same location. To my surprise, I was treated with the most spectacular light I’ve ever seen because for a very brief moment, the sun found a small gap in the cloud and pour the incredible golden light on everything, totally transformed the landscape.
To further make this image unique, I found a small paddle of water on the ground because it rained the previous night, and I was able capture Shiprock with its refection on the water, which I believe not many photographers have had a chance to do it.