Our last day of our massive 4200 mile road trip, my wife and I both had some sort of mild food poisoning for three days. Needless to say, taking photographs was not really on my mind. Actually it was, due to all the neat landscape opportunities I was seeing as I drove down the road. I just didn't feel like stopping. We had 9 hours to go from Moab, Utah to home and I kept seeing all of these awesome looking rock formations. After several hours of seeing everything pass by, this spiked mountain came out of the middle of nowhere. I finally had enough torture and pulled the vehicle over to get at least one shot. This is located near the top part of Arizona off of Highway 160. Perhaps about an hour or less outside of Kayenta, Az, if traveling towards Utah.
First off, it was just the oddest looking formation. To make it even odder, it was out in the middle of other rock formations that looked nothing like this one. Even though it was the worst time of day to photograph a landscape, I jumped out of the vehicle and exposed for both highlights and shadows, knowing full well that I'd have to carefully work with layered versions of this photo when I got home and processed it. In the end, I'm glad I stopped and captured this scene, regardless of how sick I was feeling. It apparently isn't a well photographed mountain, as I've only been able to locate two other photos of this on the internet when I was trying to identify its name.
**Update** During my Monument Valley trip in January, 2009, I stumbled across a postcard with this photo in it. On the back side, I finally discovered the name of this formation and updated this photo from Spiked Mountain to its proper name, Church Rock.
The composition is good, except that I wish the white clouds were on the opposite corner of the shot, to balance for the mountain. This is a nice shot, taken when you could. Considering you had food poisoning, it is even a bit of a heroic shot really! Of course, the critic in me wishes that light had been a little softer, but you can't always decide when to shoot. Well done!
Cedric John on 21st November 2008 @ 5:33am