Gloom over Navajoland

When I take road trips, I usually prefer to return by a different route if possible. But there are perks to going home the same way. Seeing the beautiful alignment of spectacular volcanic formations near Kayenta, Arizona as we drove to Zion inspired me to spend a night there on the way home and head out for sunrise. A solid cloud ceiling that morning didn’t offer so much as a single sunbeam, but gloomy skies over basalt and sandstone aren’t bad. The main formation here is Church Rock, with the stunning Agathla Peak far off on the right.

Church Rock Gloom

This image provided a bit of a stress test for my Photoshop ethics: I really want to clone out those two phone poles. But one of my main hopes for my photography is that it will inspire people to go see beautiful views for themselves, and if someone goes here he will surely see those phone poles. Removing them would improve the image, but I believe it would also violate the implicit trust between me and my viewers that my images show real scenes in our real and wonderful world, scenes which are free for anyone to experience with a little time and dedication.

6 thoughts on “Gloom over Navajoland

  1. Jackson,
    I like the decision to keep the poles. They’re very small, hardly noticeable, and at best give a sense of scale. I deal with this quite a bit shooting around the Palouse. Sometimes I go back and look at my shots and realize power poles in the distance or hiding between layers that I hadn’t noticed. Sometimes I remove if they are an eye sore, but a consequence to think about is how do you explain the floating wires left behind?? :)

    • Thanks Aaron! Funny thought about the wires, that would definitely qualify as a Photoshop fail! I can’t actually see any wires at 100% in this one; maybe the poles are defunct, in which case it would be nice if they’d go ahead and fall over.

  2. Wonderful image of this fantastic formation, Jackson. I’d like to spend some time around Kayenta, and I probably wouldn’t even make it into Monument Valley. :)

    I would probably remove the poles, but I can understand (and can’t disagree with) your logic and reasoning.

  3. Pingback: Church Rock | Maggie Capettini Fine Art

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