Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shiprock - Tsé Bitʼaʼí - Rock with wings"

Leica M9 Elmarit 24mm f/9.5 1/500 ISO 160

Leica M9 Summicron 50mm f/6.7 1/500 ISO 160

Shiprock is a rock formation 1,583' (482.5 meters) above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.  Shiprock is also the most prominent landmark in northwestern New Mexico.  Shiprock got its name from white visitors from the 1870's as it resembles a 19th-centry clipper ship. 

Leica M9 Elmarit 24mm f/5.7 1/350 ISO 160

Leica M9 Elmarit 24mm f/5.7 1/350 ISO 160

Shiprock is actually composed of fractured volcanic breccia and black dikes of igneous rock called minette.  That's the official description,  the other description according to the Navajo is that this peak had a role as the agent that brought the Navajo to the southwest.  Shiprock holds a significant religious and cultural significance to the Navajo and thus visitors should act accordingly.

Leica M9 Summarit 90mm f/9.5 1/350 ISO 200

P45+ Schneider 35mm f/8 1/250 ISO 200

We first saw Shiprock 5-years ago during our first visit to the area and again on our way to Jackson Hole earlier this year. This is such a unique site that we decided to return in hopes of capturing Shiprock during a winter storm.

Canon 1DsIII 24-70(34mm) f/7.1 1/125 ISO 50

We left Tucson driving straight through to Farmington NM passing Shiprock on the way Friday afternoon.  The skies were all in our favor as we experienced blue skies and loads of clouds all adding to a very dramatic viewing.  While the weather forecast called for mostly cloudy skies today we've learned from experience to capture what we want when we can which turn out to be very prudent.  We woke this morning to very little clouds and what clouds there were, were way off in the distance.

Canon 1DsIII 135mm f/7.1 1/125 ISO 50

The samples of Shiprock were taken either late yesterday or this morning and with a variety of equipment including a Canon 1DsIII, Leica M9 and Cambo WRS1000/Phase One P45+.  The images were processed using a combination of Phase One Capture One Pro, Photoshop CS5 as well as Nik Software Silver Efex Pro and Viveza 2 (both 64bit).

Leica M9 Elmarit 24mm f/9.5 1/500 ISO 160

We'll be here several more days which are calling for a combination of sunny to mostly clouds days. We're keeping our fingers crossed so please stay tuned.

Thanks for visiting,

Sandy & Don

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