We spotted these massive structures while driving down SR 163 in northern Arizona a couple of months back, not too far from Monument Valley. What’s missing here, I think, is a sense of scale. They look a lot smaller (and closer) than they actually are (my best guess is maybe 5 miles off in the distance?). Anyway, I walked about a hundred yards into the scrub and got down in the sand so that I’d be aiming the camera just slightly upward. And, of course, the scene was sidelit to backlit.
It took little imagination to see these formations as something other than a desert landscape. To me, it looked more like a decaying urban skyline, perhaps a skyline torn by war or a natural catastrophe. I also never saw the image as anything but black and white. In the bright late morning sun, the colors were a good deal less than “natural”. The backlit buttes and spires were also simply silhouettes against the bright, white clouds. Color is sometimes just a really bad idea………..