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Photographing the Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Meteor Crater, Winslow AZ

First Time at The Meteor Crater

The first time I ever saw the Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ was in 2019, when I was doing a road trip with my mom, aunt, and cousin from Southern California all the way to the Grand Canyon. If you have ever done a drive to Flagstaff, AZ you will have seen the iconic billboard signs advertising the "BEST Preserved Meteorite Impact Site on Earth!" I remember we only had the weekend to see the Grand Canyon then head back to California, I thought "Well the sign does say it's only 30 minutes from Flagstaff...", so after the Grand Canyon we took a quick drive to see the best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth.

I had just bought my first Sony mirrorless camera, the a6000 model, and was excited to break out my new 35mm f 1.8 lens. We arrive at the meteor crater and I'm greeted by this unique building that, when the sun hits it just right, turns golden. It was about 30 minutes until closing - so I grabbed my camera, ran up the steps, bought a ticket, and headed upstairs into the courtyard area that housed a Nasa Astronaut, the actual Apollo mission astronaut capsule, the gift shop, and the museum. I didn't have the time to take in everything in that moment, but what I do remember was the brick window that looked out at the San Francisco mountains and the parking lot. I couldn't help myself but take a bunch of photos of that window while trying to frame the Astronaut and Apollo capsule in it as well. Let me just say, golden hour in that particular spot was better than I could've imagined.

I came back to reality, ran though the museum without even looking at anything, found the exit door to the crater, and then.... silence. I didn't even make it all the way up the next flight of stairs that took me to the lookout point before I just paused, staring at the enormous crater in front of me. I remember looking at this huge hole in the ground and thinking how insane it was, that a meteorite crashing could create something so beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

I grabbed my camera, took off the lens cap, then snapped as many photos as I could before the sun went down. While I was taking the photos, I also didn't realize how crazy the wind speeds were up there! One second I'm looking through my viewfinder directly at the center of the crater, the next I'm looking at the side of it. I understand now why the gift shop sells "I survived the winds at Meteor Crater" shirts.

I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel so that I could see how the photos turned out and start putting my spin on them with my custom preset filters. As soon as I plugged in my SD card and opened up Lightroom, I was even more amazed at the crater. Every detail of the rocks, dirt, and clouds were there in the photo exactly as I saw it. It's sometimes difficult to take something as iconic as the Meteor Crater and make it something even more special without taking away it's personality. I really just wanted to boost the colors of everything, enhance the details, and let the crater speak for itself, I was very happy with how my first photos came out.

#meteorcrateraz #londonastermedia

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