Anasazi: The Chaco Canyon Collection, Part 3 - The Call of Chaco: A Hole in the Sky

The next day began as the first, bone-chilling cold, warm campfire, camp coffee and an excellent breakfast. However this day warmed up faster than the previous one and we set out for the park proper. After a brief stop at the visitors center we arrived at Hungo Pavi, 2 miles from the visitors center and the first ruin along the park drive. I find it impossible to avoid being cliche’ about it because there really is no substitute for “being there.” No photograph is ever more than an illustration of reality. And that, I believe, is a good thing. Photographs should not make us complacent with pictures in a coffee table book. Photographs should stir the intellect and motivate us to explore
the world.

The sky was a mixture of clouds and sun, and with a slight breeze the day was ideal for shooting. While Ronnie explored with the dogs Sherisa and I photographed the ruins. Now that I think about it, I realize that we both began shooting from the outer walls and worked our way into the interiors of all the ruins we visited in Chaco. I believe we did it without thinking about it, almost as if the ruins themselves were guiding us. One of the first things you notice about the walls is the intricate stone work, visible only because time has eroded away the thin outer layer that once covered them. While photographing the ruins I felt like compositions were being
served up for free on a silver platter. We had the ruin virtually all to ourselves, which enabled us to shoot at leisure without interruption. Evidently April is a good time to visit Chaco because there were no crowds to deal with as opposed to peak months.

Sherisa and I quickly realized that wide angle is the lens of choice when it comes to capturing the true scale of the Chaco ruins. But that is not to say that zooms and macros aren’t needed because there is plenty of close-up detail to be photographed, due no doubt to the Anasazi being extremely meticulous in their architecture.

Hungo Pavi is not what most people would call the crown jewel of the canyon, but it doesn’t have to be. It has its own magnificence and grandeur. The ruin is just as compelling and mysterious as any of the others. We could have easily spent the entire day there photographing. We were in no hurry, but Chetro Ketl was calling.

My sincere thanks to Ronald Roybal for allowing me the honor of using his song “A Hole in the Sky” from his brilliant CD “The Buffalo Hunters”. Ronald is a Native American flutist and classical guitarist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With his music these photographs convey a true spirit of this beautiful place. For more information about Ronald visit his website:
The site is very interactive with lots of media and ordering CDs & DVDs is easy.


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