The Painted Desert

September 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The mid-day sun can have a beauty-killing quality when it comes to landscapes. It steals definition and flattens everything it touches. Unfortunately, this is the exact time of day I was passing by the Painted Desert on my way from Albuquerque to Flagstaff last week. I wasn't expecting much in the way of photos, but I made a last-minute decision to get off of the highway and take the 28-mile detour, if only to break up the drive a bit. When I pulled up at the first viewpoint, I saw exactly what I expected: a very unique landscape that would have been truly stunning had I only been there 6 hours earlier or later. I was about to get back in my car when the clouds rolled in. They were large and puffy, and most importantly, they were moving. Their shadows mixed with the sunlight and added dimension to the alternating ridges. I spent the next two hours exposing for the highlights and was pleasantly surprised with the results. To see more photos of the badlands, tepees, and petrified wood of the Painted Desert, as well as some other spots in the Southwest, click here. View of the Painted Desert from Tiponi Point at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of the Painted Desert from Tiponi Point at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of the Painted Desert from Tiponi Point at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of the Painted Desert from Tiponi Point at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of Pintado Point in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. The Tepees layered mineral formations in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. The Tepees layered mineral formations in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. Pedestal logs atop a ridge from Blue Mesa in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of the badlands from Blue Mesa in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. View of the badlands from Blue Mesa in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona.

 


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