Dean M. Chriss
San Juan Canyons and Monument Valley, Sunrise
(Click image to enlarge)
photographed this scene in 2007. Since then I have photographed
it at least a dozen times and spent the nicest Thanksgiving day sunrise of my
life here. The photographic results have varied widely due mostly to weather.
Skies range from totally cloudy and drab to clear blue, but the big problem is
usually wind. As with
all large canyons, morning winds fueled by changing temperatures at sunrise
are often strong enough to prevent any hope of sharp photographs. The photograph
above is my most recent attempt and the best so far. It is among the sharpest
and most detailed I have ever made. I probably cannot do better, but
that won't keep me from returning.
The convoluted canyons of the San Juan River set the foreground for this sunrise over the distant Monument Valley. Many Monument Valley formations can be seen
in the background, as can Agathla Peak over thirty miles away in the upper
center of the photograph. There are very few places where one can still look across such a vast and
but even here that is starting to change.