On the lookout at Monument Valley

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Registered: Apr 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

This is taken at John Ford Point, Monument Valley. I got this idea from Robert Hitchman's Photograph America publication. If anyone here does not get it, I would recommend that you get this quarterly publication. Google it and you should be able to find it. It is a really really used guide for photographing iconic locations all around USA.

I took a few images of the Navajo rider and gave him a small tip. However, I forgot to get him to sign model release, but I was not thinking about it that time. Then, for better or worse, I get an email from Getty Images that they want to license a few of my images from my Flickr collection and guess what!!!! Two images were of this Navajo rider!!! Without model release, I won't be able to license them. Anyway, so lesson learned.

I have a black and white version of this one also, and one of the comments I heard about it is that it reminds of the Old Western Movies.

Your comments and criticism are most welcome.
Thank you for your time.

Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 42762
Country: United States

Hey Maji,

What a super cool shot. That's great about Getty wanting some of your images. I would think with this shot that you would not need a models release. I thought the criteria for a model release was if the person was reconizable then you needed one. The rider is far enough off, I am not sure what details, other then he is an indian anyone could get from this shot.


Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 22146
Country: United States

Great shot Maji,
The inclusion of the man on the horse makes this image work. Perhaps a tighter crop emphasizing this element could be beneficial.
Love the color and detail on it.

Registered: Dec 24, 2011
Total Posts: 2949
Country: United States

This guy (or some other Navajo) poses all the time, it is his job. I can't imagine that selling images of him at such distance would require a release. Good shot.

Registered: Dec 02, 2006
Total Posts: 8216
Country: United States

Josef Muench. Famous shot.

Good work!

Registered: Apr 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Actually, the two images that Getty chose were tighter around the rider. The Getty editor required model releases, so without it their software won't even let me upload the images to their server.

Stan... when I went, there was a bus load of European tourists there with most of them posing on the horse. When I asked the Navajo person to pose for me, he told me to wait till all the bus left and then he rode his horse to the ledge.

Personally, I chose this shot for display here because it really gives a feeling of vastness of the land and the rider on the lookout for enemies coming from the far corners... just like John Fords Western Movies.

Here is one of the images that Getty chose. You can also read Fred's comment on how a closer view will be preferable. I suddenly realized that experienced photographers and photo editors like Fred and Getty Editors think so much alike... because they have the "eye" for it That is something most of us strive to learn.

Registered: Dec 06, 2009
Total Posts: 1994
Country: Canada

I like the closer one much better, it still gives the idea of the vastness & the composition is excellent. Good one!

Registered: Jan 05, 2013
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

The tighter crop definitely works better. Applying levels to that sky would pop it even more.

angel manguel
Registered: Feb 09, 2009
Total Posts: 1956
Country: Canada

Hi Maji,

I prefer the distant view. I think that image gives a much more accurate perspective on the immensity of the scene and the insignificance of the human in the scene. Selecting the sky and performing some manipulation will makes this image even more stunning that it already is. Great eye!


Registered: Feb 21, 2008
Total Posts: 552
Country: United States

This is a great scene but the light is truly terrible.

Registered: Mar 18, 2004
Total Posts: 922
Country: United States

I like both.

Do you have to get the permit to sell photos taken on Navajo land?
It is unclear to me if that pertains to anybody who wants to sell a photo taken in the area.
The after the fact fee is high.



Registered: Apr 12, 2002
Total Posts: 473
Country: United States

I have one of him also from 2010. It was sunset and as I was leaving a bus full of tourists from Gouldings pulled up and he trotted over to pose. Its one of my favorite images. I turned around and as I squeezed off a few shots his assistant came over and demanded two dollars which I obliged. I guess everyone on the bus had prepaid for the privilege.

I did the Hunt's Mesa overnight last month and my guide said that was his uncle and that he was not well and not doing it anymore.

Registered: Jan 30, 2005
Total Posts: 5270
Country: United States

Funny how the horse looks in the second, sorta deflated...
Nice work...

Rick Schump
Registered: Oct 30, 2007
Total Posts: 2810
Country: United States

Wonderful shot posed or with or without the release, It would be a great shot to have on the hard drive. Rick

Registered: Apr 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

Thank you guys for your comments.

The poor horse must have been tired with all the tourists getting on its back and off... can't blame it for appearing deflated

Registered: Sep 06, 2006
Total Posts: 7772
Country: United States

Very cool shot. Second version is my choice. Congrats on the 'almost' good fortune.


Registered: Nov 12, 2002
Total Posts: 10806
Country: United States

Very nice image, Maji!

I'm shocked to hear that Getty cruises Flikr for images. That sure is a low blow to all the pros that already contract with them. And people like me (and many of us) that have our work on our own websites and don't use flikr. They are undermining their own relationships with their sources. Oh, the draw of a lower price.....

Registered: Apr 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

thank you Ed and Jeffrey.

Flickr users who want Getty to take a look at the collection need to register with Getty. I did it, and once in a while I will get an email saying Getty wants to license certain images and try to sell it. Never got a sale though through Getty. Private sales through some local exhibitions/displays got me sales.

Thanks again for your time.

Registered: Aug 28, 2005
Total Posts: 34898
Country: United States

Classics! Very nicely done.


Registered: Apr 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

Thank you Barry.

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