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Monument Valley

Why a Wonder: Monument Valley is the gem of the Navajo Nation. It covers 91,000 acres and boasts massive buttes that have become known as icons of the American Southwest.

Where: Monument Valley is located in the Navajo Nation that straddles the Arizona/Utah border, and seems to suddenly sprout up from the desert as you head up Highway 98.

When: We explored Monument Valley in August, the monsoon season. This time of year usually offers skies filled with beautiful and sometimes angry clouds.

Photography: I encourage you to photograph Monument Valley, even from the Visitors Center, at sunrise and sunset. For more unique photographs, take a guided tour down into the valley.

The valley road opens at 8 AM and closes at 6 PM, so early morning or evening shots will have to be from the top by the visitor center.

Only Navajo guides can take you into the valley, and the “roads” are very rough. The guides are trained to show you fabulous vistas and photo spots of this marvelous photo wonder.

We had great light into mid-morning during our visit. Then shadows began to challenge us.

I shot with my Sony A1, a 24-105mm lens and a polarizing filter. For low-light shots I used my tripod.

Learn more: Check out the Insider's Guide to Monument Valley.

© Nancylee Mudd

This post sponsored by Breakthrough Filters.

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