The American Southwest: Post 11–South Coyote Buttes | Jim Kofron Photography | Jim Kofron

The American Southwest: Post 11–South Coyote Buttes

I've run out of adjectives to describe these wonders we've been seeing. South Coyote Buttes is a much harder drive than the Wave (you must have 4WD). It's more spread out, so you have much more hiking to do. But it's incredible. The photographic opportunities are endless. You'll have to remember that most of the photographs we're making are when the sun is straight overhead. Horrible lighting. How can we work with that??

How? Color. Texture. Contrasts. Shapes. They're all over the place at every turn. This area is incredible and incredibly fragile: I see why they limit the visitors to here. Sandstone fins so fine you could shave with them. Normally I don't like walking through sand (because of footprints), here we had to try to avoid most of the rock because most of it is so fragile as to crush underneath our feet. The colors here were glorious: red, yellow, gold, rose, purple, whites. Sands were made of this stuff to and they often appeared to be on fire. A nice contrast to the lush foliage of the spring desert.

The walk in with the sandstone formations in the distance


Our entrance into a windswept land of sandstone fins…


Rick and Kendall shooting rock abstracts


These colors and textures are astounding!

In this crazy land, it's hard to get a level horizon.

Lemon chiffon…

Here's Domo riding the stripes. The striped rock in this area was crazy. These rocks look a lot like the brain rock of White Pocket, except they're very yellow.

A striped rock. Note the fragile flaking going on.

Sand and sandstone formations. No hoodoos around here, mostly these teepees.


It looks like a crazy wedding cake. A 40' tall wedding cake!

These sandstone fins in the foreground are as fragile as they appear. Walk around them!



I don't know how you get the vertical fins with the horizontal ones…


And this reminds me of those stacked NMR spectra we used to do. What a crazy formation!

This too looks incredibly fragile, but now you have a Kendall in the background to give some size perspective. This formation was huge!0519_SCB16

This boulder was composed of rock 'paper'. Just crazy…


A nice view from the backside of this formation.


Kendall setting up a shot. Look at the crazy layers in the backgroun!

Bad horizon again. This teepee is enormous

The views off the back side (north) of this formation were stunning. I would have loved to have had an extra day to hike down, stay overnight, and hike the formations on the other side of this canyon.


I did mention color and texture, didn't I?


This would not be a great place to be standing in the middle of a thunderstorm. It's clearly a runoff chute!


Again, to get appropriate scale, you can see Rick (white) and Kendall over on the left side of the photo. And these formations are not safe to go to the edge on, because you're on some mighty thin sandstone!


Why do I have the urge for chocolate right about now?


Rick knew this formation as airport tower rock (or something like that). Here's the backside view with the 70-200

And here's the frontside with the 10-20.

More craziness. Note the bright yellow stripe in the middle (moving horizontally). 0519_SCB29

Here it is through Kendall's 50-5000519_SCB30


Domo wanted to take in the view...


We hiked down into another little mini-canyon area that had a lot of purple stone in it.


Note the delicate fins on this formation.


A great view out once you get to the edge.

We decided to hike over to these formations. We found a nice spot under a juniper for a little siesta!



Local fauna 0519_SCB39

So after an action-packed shoot (probably around 7 hours or so, we packed our gear and headed out. But we'd shoot one more area this day (Bentonite hills), and that scenery was incredible as well. This was taken around Paw Hole as we ventured out.


What a day!

Copyright 2014, Jim Kofron. All rights reserved.