Around the United States - Ryan Kost

Iconic Movie Set: Monument Valley

he iconic Monument Valley that straddles the Utah/Arizona border. It's famously depicted in Forest Gump, Easy Rider, National Lampoon's Vacation, Back to the Future Part III and so many more movies. It's hard to snap a "fresh view" of a place that has been depicted 1000's of times. When driving to Arizona, I arrived here around sunset. The road was teeming with RV's and cars and crowds standing in the middle of the road to get the famous shot and taking selfies, jumping shots, laying in the road, etc... I skipped it. It didn't feel special at the time.

On my way back home, I drove through around 1a.m. under a full moon. Not another soul around. Finally after about 15 minutes, I spotted a car in the distance. I setup shop in the middle of the road and took a 20 second exposure. A bit dangerous as I had to run off the road as the car quickly approached, but it captured an image that felt right to me. I felt solitude and a certain connection to this magical landscape versus when I drove through during the day with hoards of people. Part of the beauty of photography is trying to snap a photo of an iconic place that is just a bit different than all of the other photos. Further, you feel most alive and wide awake during the hours that the world sleeps. Calm yet energized.

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