Hi, We took the all day photographers tour of Monument Valley with this company. Our guide was Tom (owner) who leads most of the higher end tours geared specifically toward photographers. The all day tour is acatully built in two parts. You meet before dawn and go out for the morning hours. He then drops you off back at the hotel. Then around 4:00 pm you meet up again for the afternoon shoot culminating just as the sun sets back at the "Ansel Adams spot" (where he took one of his most famous Monument Valley shots) just at sunset.
Tom (a native of the area) is very good at taking you to many different "off the beaten path" locations in the valley. Mostly they are not on the public loop drive so not accessible to anyone not on a tour. He is a very friendly guy with lots of knowledge of the area. While driving from spot to spot he offered historical and cultural information which was quite interesting. However, from time to time there were stretches where he was not saying anything. However, once we started prompting him with questions during these times he brought forth all kinds of information and stories that were quite interesting.
Our tour (In an SUV) was just 2 couples. Since my wife is not a photographer, Tom gave her a $100 discount which was quite a good deal. As for shooting, as stated earlier, he had a good itinerary of places to stop with a wide variety of subjects (areches, butts, vistas, etc.). He offered good suggestions about framing and composition along with suggestions as to good use of foreground elements.
Through no fault of Tom, on our particular day the weather was not cooperating. To shoot monument valley and get those rich red, orange colors and dramitic shadows of the monuments draped across the desert floor you need good light. Unfortunatly our shooting day was mostly overcast with periods of rain with only a few short periods where there were breaks in the clouds. Some of these breaks provided some good opportunities but they were few and far between. For the most part the light was very flat and the overcast sucked most of the color out of the scenery. Having said that I did come away with some keeppers - just not as many as I had hoped for. Other than those few moments when the sun peaked through, the best shots of the day where right at sunset when the sun broke through moments before it dipped below the horizon giving us great shots of the valley from the "Ansel Adams" spot (BTW you don't need to be on a tour to get to this spot, but do need to know when to be there) and how to frame it).
Tom's pre tour communications were good. He clearly identified the meeting location and time (be aware of the time zone as "Navajo Time" is its own time zone which can be different than Arizona and/or Utah). He showed up on time and provided what he had advertised.
All in all a good value for the serious photographer.
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