Monument Monoliths

Light shoots through the clouds at Monument Valley Canon 5D II 70mm, F16

On a list of places you always read about but never get to visit, Monument Valley Arizona certainly topped my list. And it turns out that I got there just in time for some amazing clouds as a storm was rolling through. Which I hear is very rare.

And the people you meet in these places can be equally as fascinating. One such Japanese man struck my friend and I particularly interesting. He didn’t speak English, but he was taking photos, and we had that understanding that comes along with that. And we were certainly waiting for the same thing. The Golden hour seemed like it was going to be an amazing one. But with the storm, and the clouds, the window was getting narrower, and we could see the disappointment forming on his face.

When the clouds did break, there was about 10 minutes to get as many shots as possible with this great light blasting in from the side. Lighting up the red rocks in way we could have only hoped for. But when it was done you could see in our new friends face that he was not satisfied. We dubbed him the saddest man in America. It was even more impactful because he couldn’t convey it in words. But at least we able to make a connection and brighten his day a little. I hope ­čś«


The Abyss of Chaak Tun


Deep in the Chaak Tun cenote Canon 5D mark II 21mm, F16

If you are ever travelling to Mexico and want to know what the best beaches are, or highest rated hotel to stay at, I have no clue. I honestly don’t put much thought into that. But if you are looking for some get away places that are more of the bucket list type than the relaxing, I might have some suggestions.

This place was one of mine. Not the location specially, as I visited many cenotes while on the East coast of Mexico. But the caves themselves are some of the most otherworldly places I have ever been. Being able to swim and travel through underwater cave systems was like something out of a National Geographic. Truly spellbinding. And I don’t use that term lightly, or often!

The unfortunate part of these magical places, is that they are all on private land. It’s the equivalent of striking oil in your backyard. And as so, most of these wonders are subject┬áto amusement park type theatrics. Which as you can imagine, lessens the experience greatly.

The reason I chose to visit this one is because it was the most beautiful and untouched of all the ones I had researched. But because they are on someones property, you are not allowed to wonder around and take all the pictures you want. Especially with a tripod!

So I put on my best smile and very politely asked the guide who was taking us through if I could go back and take a photo. He reluctantly said yes and we ran back in ninja style! Grabbed a few shots and got out while my wife and kids distracted the owners with theirs undeniable cuteness.