Morning Clouds

Equipment Info
Canon Canon EOS 5D Mark II
3321928/1000000 sec. / ISO 100
New Mexico
Nearest Area
Navajo Nation

EF 28-70mm @ 65mm; f/16 @ 1/10 sec, ISO 100


Shiprock, a diatreme (volcanic plug), rises abruptly from the virtually level surrounding plain on the Navajo Nation. The east face reflects morning sunlight while a wind-driven cloud clings to its 1700 foot summit. After photographing the west face the previous evening, my options were to go into the town of Shiprock or camp out and do a sunrise shoot. I chose the latter. To improve my odds of getting the best sunrise light on the eastern face I drove onto Navajo Nation Road 5010 to scout for a site to camp with the best access to a well-lit east face. Since I live in and work out of a modified Toyota 4Runner while on the road photographing, it was fairly simple to find a level spot on the plain just below Shiprock. It rained a bit during the night so there were clouds remaining in the morning sky. The peak of Shiprock is high enough that it often creates its own microclimate with clouds blowing around it or briefly getting caught in an eddy so that they appear to be attached to the mountain. That was true for this morning. I made many shots during the rapidly-changing conditions until the light was no longer suitable for a good photograph.

Date Added
February 13, 2021
Date Taken
January 2, 2018