If you’re willing to embark on a long road trip, you can capture some amazing photos along the way. This was the case for photographer Michael Abramyan. In the summer of 2021, he drove 5,000 miles from his home on the East Coast and snapped incredible images, one of the most spectacular of them being at Monument Valley in Arizona. The astrophotography shot features a swirling fiery sky that is dotted with stars over a silhouetted rock formation and ground-hugging desert plants. It’s a stunning display that showcases the splendor of Earth and the stars as they swirl in one big cosmic gumbo.
Astrophotography shots have the tendency to be meticulously planned. Photographers find exact coordinates and then look to weather forecasts and celestial predictions to make sure they can snap the perfect pictures. But as Abramyan explains, this composition was pure kismet.
“As I was heading to the Forrest Gump point,” he writes, “I noticed this beautiful angle on the three buttes named (from left to right) Stage Coach, King on his Throne, and Brigham’s Tomb. I shot the foreground as the Sun was setting and came back to this location after twilight to link up with my newfound friend Levi Mize and shoot some tracked sky shots as the Milky Way core made its way over the buttes.”
This image, along with more of Abramyan’s work, is available as a print in his online shop.