Mitten Shadow in Monument Valley – Time-lapse

By Becky Chapman

There are events that are so special they only happen a couple of times a year. Having the exceptional opportunity to observe one is special and the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes workshop, “Best of the West” gives just such an opportunity. Twice a year just as the sun sets on beautiful Monument Valley, the west mitten starts to cast its shadow on the east mitten. The alignment is beautiful and truly a sight to see.

I had the pleasure of seeing this phenomenon last spring (2019) on the Best of the West workshop with LeRoy DeJolie. As we got into position to document this experience, I decided to make a time lapse of the event. I found a nice little position and started shooting a frame every 30 seconds. We got into position about an hour before the sun set, so there was ample time to get the full progression of the shadow. We were also visited by a beautiful wild horse that wandered onto the trail and near the photographers’ set up for the shadow. She was uninterested in us and went on about her business, thankfully without knocking over my tripod, which I thought was a possibility as she passed me on the trail.

Seeing Monument Valley with Navajo Photographer, LeRoy DeJolie is also an experience to be had. LeRoy is literally at home in Monument Valley as this is where he grew up and where his people still live. He knows this area better than anyone and knows how to teach the best ways to photograph the immense beauty that is northern Arizona. LeRoy is simply one of the best to learn and his knowledge of light and how to best utilize it is unparalleled. All in all, this was one of my most cherished moments of this particular workshop. Please enjoy the time lapse and some of the stills that go with it.

Becky Chapman is a Photo Guide for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes