Camel Butte in Monument Valley (Arizona)

The Camel Butte is one of Monument Valley’s signature landmarks and was very high on my to-do list during my first visit to the region.

When I approached the GPS coordinates of Arizona’s Camel Butte, I was a bit confused at first because I could not find it. The famous formation was completely covered by the combination of low, dark clouds and fog that made it invisible even from a distance of only a couple hundred meters. It was also raining very hard.

What I learned from my previous visits to the Southwest was that the weather is unpredictable and constantly changing in the middle of spring. That’s why I decided to take a pause and wait out the rainy and foggy conditions.

Luckily, I did not have to wait for long. By the end of my 20-minute lunch break in the car, the storm was gone and the sun was back illuminating the rocks with beautiful, soft light.

Travel Photography - Giant Cloud Shadows Over Vermilion Hills  (Arizona)
USA. Arizona. Monument Valley
Loc: 36.952014, -110.079115

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Shooting

The only challenge here was to keep my lens dry. I had to remember to check the front of the lens constantly and wipe the water drops when necessary.

Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70
Focal Length: 45mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
ISO: 100
Aperture: F10
Shutter Speed: 1/250s
Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 ReviewBallhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing

It was a single RAW file editing.

I used the Natural preset from my Landscape Collection first and after I used TOOLKIT to boost colors and contrast.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Natural (9, 16, 21, 32)

After I was done with Rapid Editing I had to do one very simple but important adjustment. I shifted the Purple Slider in HSL Panel towards the blue tones to remove unnatural color cast from the sky.

Photoshop: color correction, contrast.

Photoshop Plugins:

Before & After Transformation

Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.

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