This was our third time at the Petrified Forest National Park. Unfortunately, our previous times were a near bust photographically. Our first time we were neophytes and didn’t know how to shoot the park (or anything in it). The second time we visited during the worst part of the day, light-wise, producing harsh looking photos. It’s said that the third time is a charm.
We couldn’t get there for the golden hour as the park didn’t open until 7:00 and it’s a 90 minute ride from our hotel. With these limitations we did the sane thing – we slept in, sipped coffee and had a leisurely breakfast. We arrived around 10:00 knowing the sun would be high already. Instead of the harsh sunlight we deserved, we were rewarded with a beautiful blue sky with picture perfect clouds. When we have nice clouds, we knew we needed to make sure they get into the photograph. So, instead of taking a shot of a piece of petrified wood we went for a more global view, incorporating many pieces of wood and the sky.
Long before Route 66, but much more recently than the forest, a few petroglyphs were added to the scenery by the local inhabitants. These petroglyphs are thought to be between 650 and 2,000 years.
And remember, its all about the light (and don’t forget the picture perfect clouds)!