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Spider Rock, Canyon De Chelly – America

Spider Rock, Canyon De Chelly - America | Australian Photography Tours and Workshops

Spider Rock

I’m a great advocate of staying in the one spot at times for a complete day.Why do I do that? You will be surprised at times what you experience in that time. There can be changes over an 8 hour period that can leave you speechless.

I stayed at Spider Rock for 8 hrs  and I did not move from that spot( apart from doing a wee:)

When I arrived there,  the skies were cloudless. I arrived the day before, late in the day and camped at the only camp ground within the park. The camp ground is very6 basic but the people running it were very friendly.

The day of arriving  it was a cloudless as well . The next morning that I woke  and looked up to  the skies which were free of any skies sadly but when I arrived at the lookout for Spider Rock, things slowly started to happened. As I’m not from these parts, I had no idea how the weather works here whereas where I live, I have a pretty good idea how things pan out during the course of the day.So it was hard to predict the nature of the skies here and what they usually end up doing.

The morning was cloudless but things started taking shape within the first 30 minutes and from there it was simply stunning. The series of shots posted here in this blog were all taken on the same day.During the day the conditions change with such drama in the skies at times.

During the day I had thunder and lightning  and at times  this was so scarey as I had no where to hide. There are tress but nothing that is towering. What the pictures don’t show is that not long after this ( approx 30 minutes)it started raining. Earlier on in my travels in America, I was unaware how the monsoons worked in the States and I got so drowned, more about that later, but from that time, I learnt big time and since my previous drowing I had bought two large rolls of black garbage bags.This was the first place where I had used them.

As the rain tumbled down, I was amazed how a thin piece of plastic protects ones large investment in camera gear. I didn’t care about myself getting wet, which I did but as long as my gear was protected, I was more than happy to endure the rain.

When you look at the pictures, study where the shadow of Spider Rock falls and you will see it in different positions on the ground, which is proof that I was there for the entire day.

I know when we are on the road, that it is not always easy to stay in one spot but if you ever get the chance to do so, I think you will be rewarded in ways that you thought were not possible.

My time at Spider Rock was well worth the long trip to travel there as it was out of the way to where I was heading but I so wanted to do this and the following pictures reflect the awe inspiring day that I had.

All the time I was marveling at the wonder of God’s creation and how all of this is a gift to us all to enjoy, wonder over and reflect upon.

There are places that are hard to do justice to due to the nature of their greatness in the landscape form and I feel this is such a place. Standing on the edge, looking down, I often would reflect on life back when the North American Indians roamed in this region and going about their business and I would reflect on their skills to keep living in often harsh settings.

There is one element that I have not captured here. So what would that be?

This is the biggest difference in the Australian and USA deserts. We both have  the extreme heat where it is oppressive at times but in the USA, many of their deserts are also covered in snow, where as in Oz, that doesn’t happen.

Spider rock is covered in snow and this blew me away as the day I was there it was extremely hot. How can a place so hot, so oppressive at times but bathed in snow and instead of the extreme heat, one has the extreme cold?

If you can, spend one day, somewhere in your photographic life and see what you come up with.

Let me know if you should ever do that. I would love to see your results..


“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”  – David Harvey

















Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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