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Monument to the Past

Monument to the Past
Photograph by Melissa Farlow

Cactuses stand sentinel over the new Aqua Fria National Monument, an important archaeological site just north of Phoenix. From A.D. 1250 to 1450, thousands of cliff dwellers occupied vast pueblos carved into the canyons’ walls, some with more than a hundred rooms. The monument was created to help protect 450 known prehistoric sites, including myriad petroglyphs, from vandalism and Phoenix’s sprawl.



Camera: Nikon F4
Film Type: Kodachrome 200
Lens: 28mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Clear, sunny
Time of Day: 7:22 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Available light

Special Equipment or Comments:
I followed the light up the hillside trying to use the last bit as it faded. I took my camera off the tripod because the terrain was too rough to steady it. Balancing precariously on crumbling rock, I held my breath and shot eight frames. I was sure I was going to slip and someone would find me in a day or two stuck to one of those saguaros.


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