<< Previous Next >>

Monument Valley - Yei Bi Chei

Monument Valley  -  Yei Bi Chei
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11-25
Categories: Desert
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas, Earth from Above [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-29 11:58
Viewed: 6106
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is the second shot I have uploaded from a scenic flight I took from from Moab, Utah, covering all the sections of Canyonlands NP, Capital Reef NP, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, The Goose Necks of the San Juan and Arches NP. This is another view of the Totem Pole and Dancers (Yei Bi Chei) and gives a better impression of the surrounding landscape.

Monument Valley is not really a valley, but rather a wide flat, landscape interrupted by colorful red buttes and spires rising hundreds of feet into the air. These are the last remnants of the sedimentary rock layers that once covered the entire region. Monument Valley is contained entirely within the Navajo reservation, occupying both Utah and Arizona. This is is one of the most remarkable, beautiful and famous landscapes in the world, early recognized by Hollywood as a stunning background for western films.

Monument Valley sits atop the crest of a wide anticline, the Monument Upwarp. These beautiful layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale were desposted here in ancient times and were buried for millennia until, like the rest of the Colorado Plateau, it was uplifted and folded. The reddish hues in the sand and rock of the valley are due to iron oxide; the black streaks of desert varnish are manganese oxide.

Eroded by wind and rain, soft red shale undermines the stronger, vertically-jointed sandstone, producing the many buttes and pinnacles. The buttes and pinnacles of Monument Valley are composed of Permian-age (270 million years ago) Cedar Mesa Sandstone. The slopes at their bases are usually composed of Halgaito shale, while many of the spires have caprocks of red Organ Rock shale, also from the Permian period.

Volcanic activity subsequently occurred in areas surrounding the Uplift, releasing molten rock from underneath. The only remnants of the many volcanoes are the hardened cores (igneous dikes) whose scattered silhouettes tower in the distance. El Capitán, as Kit Carson called it, or Algathla, "the place of the animal hides," as the Navajo call it, is one of the most prominent volcanic monoliths. It rises 1,500 feet at the south end of the Monument Valley Uplift. Alhambra Rock is another igneous dike; it protrudes above the surface north of Monument Pass.

XOTAELE, pablominto, manyee, Evelynn, delic, Adanac, SunToucher, horia, ramthakur, cicindela, Alex99 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hola James.
Una vista panorámica preciosa, con infinidad de detalles muy bien presentados.
Perfecto encuadre y estupenda nota.
Saludos, JL.

  • Great 
  • Krima Gold Star Critiquer [C: 60 W: 5 N: 7] (8)
  • [2007-04-29 12:50]

This is awesome landscape!!! Superb place to take some real photos..All the best

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-04-29 12:53]

That is a spectacular... and unusual view of that famous area.
The view from the air sure gives us a new perspective of those buttes.
Really amazing, James!
I like those long shadows in the foreground.
TFS. : )

What a different view one gets from the air! The foreground section with the wonderful saturation and shadows is superb. I would be tempted to make a second image from that cropped area. It is really nice.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-29 16:13]

Hello James

I love being able to travel the world here on TN.You present us with another unique place that resembles another world.Excellent POV and DOF.The image is sharp and well focused.I like the balance you have struck with the buttes and spires and flat desert.It gives a good relative size.TFS


  • Necipp Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1110 W: 15 N: 21] (100)
  • [2007-04-29 16:37]

Hello James awsome landscape and superb POV from the air nice light and great colour and contrast. tfs rgds Necip will get back.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-29 17:59]

Hello James,
Superb landscape, with all the amazing shapes and shadows creating a beautiful composition, thanks James.

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-29 18:46]

Hello James,
Very strong shadows and contrast here. You have managed to hold together a perfect composition despite the challenge of aerial photography. Very well done.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • trinko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 78 N: 322] (4321)
  • [2007-04-29 23:02]

great colors and perspective, maybe a tad oversharpened. great shot from a plane or helicopter.

Hi James,
The birdeye view is really spectacular and shows the wideness of the landscape perfectly. I am very impressed about the desolate look of this landscape and the particular shapes of the rock formations.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-30 8:52]

Hi James

Another stunning view from you! WOW!
You really have been in many amazing places and it's fantastic that you've managed to take such great shots from all of them!
Here, too, is an outstanding work, with an impressive perspective!
The POV is excellent and the colors are terrific doe to the good exposure. Those long shadows are, though, the cherry on top of cake and they make this an amazing compo!

Bravo and TFS

Yes, we have seen individual pictures of these "monumental" rocks from time to time on TN and other media, James. However, this is my first aerial view of this "valley", which, actually, in not a valley at all!
As usual, this is a fantastic capture and bears your special stamp we have become familiar with now.
Reading your well written notes is always an eye-opening experience.

Hi James!
I was absent last few days in Lodz so it is time to see what I "overlooked" ;)
Great panoramic picture of amazing place! Very nice DOF and perfect POV clearly show the beauty of this area. Warms colouration of this photo is also very nice for my eyes :)
TFS and best greetings,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-05-10 9:42]

Hi James.
Terrific scene and tremendous shot. Perfectly selected POV and very impressive cropping (especially on vertical line). I also like excellent sharpness of the image, amazing colours and colour passages, wonderful lights and shadows. Great skilful work. Bravo and TFS.

Calibration Check