Monumental Sunrise - Monument Valley, Navajo Nation

Last week I posted a photo from our first morning in Monument Valley of the East Mitten Butte with the sky looking like it was on fire. The sun had not yet risen and the clouds were an amazing shade of red. I wanted to post this photo of the East and West Mitten Buttes, as well as Merrick Butte, to show how quickly the light changes at sunrise. This photo shows the sun just peeking above the horizon, with the clouds taking on more of a blue color. This photo was taken a mere sixteen minutes after the previous one. That's right -- only sixteen minutes. That is why serious landscape photographers get up so early - well before dawn. That enables us to get Mother Nature's light show that is on display on many mornings. 

This is not an unusual phenomenon, but rather what photographers expect (and sometimes) hope for.  As I was experiencing this scene, I decided that I would add an artistic flair to the resulting photo by creating a sunburst. This is rather easy to achieve by merely stopping down the lens to a smaller aperture (in this case f/22).