I love my annual trip to the high desert in Utah; summer is prime time for massive cloud formations and nights full of stars with the Milky Way at center stage. In Arches National Park, stars are so bright and abundant that they consume darkness.

After the 1 am drives, the light painting exercises and the rhythm of releasing shutters are done, I like to lie down on the desert floor and gaze at the center of our galaxy wondering who is looking down on my solitude. How selfish and ignorant are we to think we are alone in the universe? Darkness gives way to the faint morning light caressing arches of crimson and igniting an extravaganza of reds and pinks.

In Monument Valley, “buttes” are scattered like cowboy hats abandoned on the valley’s floor. This is western movie central. Its iconic landscape has been the backdrop for every famous cowboy movie ever made. The spirit of “The Duke” lingers in this vastness. This is Navajo land and their four mystical worlds of creation, their legends, and centuries old stories dominate creativity. At dawn and dusk, the dust of Navajo souls lingers in distant layers of pinks and blues.

Further down the trail is Antelope Pass and its plethora of slot canyons. Middays in July are blessed with shafts of heavenly light illuminating wave after wave of bloodshot caverns. Ghosts rise in rays of elusive divine light, challenging the photographer to capture them.

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