Dean M. Chriss
Alhambra, Guardian of the Goosenecks

Alhambra, Guardian of the Goosenecks

(Click image to enlarge)

An early Thanksgiving morning found me in a remote but favorite spot to photograph the sunrise, but the photograph here is not the one I was after. I photographed a particular scene that I have photographed before and then lingered just to enjoy the quiet solitude of this place. I turned almost directly toward the sun to see the backlit Alhambra through squinting eyes and a raised hand to block the sun. The large stone monument stood out prominently in the mist above winding canyons formed by the San Juan River goosenecks, almost as if it was guarding them.

I had never before noticed how beautiful, though very difficult to view, this scene was. Now I absolutely had to photograph it before the sun got much higher. Between the sun in my eyes, trying to shade the camera lens without getting my gloved hand in the photo, and camera vibrations produced by a strong wind that started just after sunrise, it wasn't easy. Fortunately many exposures between gusts of wind produced a sharp one without part of my hand in the upper left corner. The result is shown above. For me it brings back memories of the best Thanksgiving morning anyone could hope to have.