Photo and caption by Max Seigal
I hiked out to these ruins at night hoping to photograph them with the Milky Way, but instead a thunderstorm rolled through, creating this dramatic image. —Max Seigal
National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year’s judges, shares his thoughts on the second place winner:
“This photo combines two different scenes into one: the small kiva in a cliff dwelling and the grand vista of Canyonlands National Park across the valley. I really like the two different color palettes—warm inside and purple outside. This two-for-one scene was caused by the lightning storm outside the dwelling, which lit up the landscape like it was a huge electronic flash. Looking at this picture I can imagine what a wonderful sight it must have been for the ancient people who lived here. It doesn’t seem too amazing now in our modern world, but might have been mind-blowing for the prehistoric residents.”
HH: I find it an absolutely resplendent image. I know the feeling of being safe, hidden, seemingly tucked away from the unleashed power of a desert storm, yet open to watching the energy crossing the miles of dry desert and quenching the body and the soul. It comes with such force, it reminds one of how small and insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things. And you are still part of the whole dance, rejoicing in the quenched lands and renewed life force. In the desert, water is life.
To think in this small Kiva, people have been doing the same thing for millenium is so beautiful.
The color contrast is amazing.