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Canyon de Chelley Pictographs
Canyon de Chelley White House Pictographs, 1983


In the summer of 1983 I found myself touring the Southwest looking for a new place to live, and headed out to Canyon de Chelley for the 4th of July. This is my first photograph of rock art. The photographic image was quite a surprise to me at the time.
When I hiked down into the Canyon to White House ruins, I had left my tripod in the car as the sun was so bright. That was actually a mistake. I took this handheld photograph in the shade at f4 & 1/15 sec exposure. Despite that impediment, it's one of my sharper 35mm black & white photographs, primarily due to the quality of the light.
What initially appeared to be just a simple arrangement of four painted pictograph images, is actually an incredible interplay of the images and the rock form itself. With close observation, that darker form suggests to me an emergent human figure containing both a fish head, and an ancient unfinished face emerging out of its chest.
It's images such as this, that fuel my photographic journeys.

Related Links:

Canyon Records - 'Inside Cayon de Chelly' - Paul Horn and R. Carlos Nakai

Photograph © 1997, All Rights Reserved:
7 January 2001

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