We arrived at Shiprock in the middle of the afternoon in mid April, a day with clear blue skies and gusting winds. Obviously not your best day for photos but it was the only evening we could be at this iconic rock formation. The best approach is from the south. The main spine runs southwest from the monolith. You will be shooting north and northwest. As the sun sets to the west in late afternoon it will add contrast and texture to the rock formations. Keep in mind you are on Navajo property and the Navajo people consider this a sacred place. The spine and west of the spine are off limits. All of your photography should be on the east side.
The plan was to research the area and find a few good angles and compositions so we would be prepared when, and if, the conditions improved later in the afternoon. Wind conditions made test shots next to impossible. The tripod was blowing over even with a weight attached and hand holding the camera steady was a feat. After a few hours of exploring and thinking we were going to leave empty handed, we headed back to the main road. The sun began to set and clouds quickly started to form in the north. On this particular day golden hour was at 7:20 with sunset at 7:55. I quickly found a location to set up in hopes of a last chance shot. I set my tripod so the camera was only about two feet off the ground hoping it would remain stable and not blow over. I also used the camera 2 sec timer attempting to minimize camera movement. The wind began to calm slightly but the clouds were in constant change. The image was captured at 8:10 pm. Nautical twilight, at 8:25, gave us time to find our way back to the main road. I am very blessed and excited every time we get to visit a beautiful place like this. Capturing that one special moment is an added gift.
Location and time planning w/PhotoPills app
All images are captured in RAW format
Post processing with Capture One software
Location: 36d39m N - 108d49m W
Camera: Sony A7RII
Lens: Sony FE 24-240mm @63mm
Mode: Apature Priority
Shutter: 1/13 sec.
Ex Comp: -0.3
Tripod: Induro CT314
Let us know if you have any questions that we may help you with.