Hubbell Trading Post & Arizona

July 31st, 2011 | Posted by Steve in Arizona

Hi all,

Sunday, July 17, Ron & I set off on multiple trips into the Arizona backcountry.  As I said in a prior post Ron has led and co-led some Arizona Highways photo workshops.  My older son Aaron has said, much to my amusement, that I know every highway in California.  That is not true, but Ron probably knows every highway in Arizona.  He made a great guide.

One of our stops was the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, AZ.  It is well worth the stop if you are in the area.  The trading post was established in 1878.  The family sold it in 1965 to the National Park Service and it is still going strong.  Here are some outside views.

(click on photos to enlarge)

This is a wagon on display outside.

Flash photography is not allowed inside the trading post, but with a high ISO hand held photos are quite easy.  The light inside as interpreted by the camera turned out to be very warm and with nicely saturated colors.  Here are a few photos of the inside.
This is the main room.
This is the secondary room.  If it has a name I didn’t get it.
Here are two views of the Rug Room.

The rugs are hand made by members of the Navajo Tribe.  Some of them are quite expensive, passing $2000 in some instances.

Being so close Ron and I had to go to Chinle, AZ.  Chinle is the gateway to Canyon de Chelly.  Canyon de Chelly, famous for its cliffs, caves, and ancient dwellings, is overseen by both the National Park Service and by the Navajo Nation.

This photo of the White House Ruin I shot in 2000.  It is available in the purchase section.  It was shot on Velvia transparency film with a Linhof 617 III Technorama Panoramic camera and a Schneider 90mm f/5.6 lens with a center neutral density filter. It has been cropped top & bottom. Of all my film cameras I both loved it and hated it, and I miss it the most.

The Linhof was completely mechanical.  It shot a piece of film 2.25″ tall & 6.75″ wide.  That is a 3:1 aspect ratio.  One roll of 120 film would yield only 4 photos.  The area covered by the lens was about 90 degrees from left to right, or if vertical from top to bottom.  It had no shift or tilt feature, but that has been added as an option in recent years.  The camera was very demanding. Everything had to be done just right or it didn’t work.  Therefore each shot had to be set up perfectly as you were burning a lot of money no matter what happened.

Complicating things was the fact that this had a snap on view finder.  If you didn’t have a ground glass in the film area for focusing before loading the film then closeups became a problem because of the parallax differential of the center of the lens to the center of the view finder.  A few of you techies will understand and appreciate that.

The transparency was scanned not long after it was developed.  It translates far better into B&W than color.

This area of Arizona is also the southern entrance to the red sandstone Navajo country.  Navajo sandstone, laid down ages ago, is still pretty much on a vertical plane.  The immense amounts of time and pressure sometimes laminate and warp the sandstone into slightly wavy layers.

Throughout the thousands of square miles of the area the cliffs have become eroded by wind and water leaving numerous alcoves and caves, many with overhanging cliffs.  In the last few thousand years many of these places were inhabited at one time or another.  In places where the rock has become hardened you will see cliffs, mesas, towers, & spires left by the rock that eroded away. Monument Valley in southern Utah is a great place to see how the land has eroded into fantastic forms.

The prevailing color of the rock, light red, is pretty constant over this immense area, and glows in the setting sun.  When wet the mud it forms is sticky.  Despite many rainstorms traces of the mud were still on my tires days after I had left the area.

Here are a couple of other photos of the area.  Both feature “Los Gigantes”, two giant mesas that dominate the local landscape.  They seem to rise out of nowhere, being mostly surrounded by flat lands.

This is a panorama from two individual photos.

This is one of the two “Los Gigantes.”  It has been converted to B&W.

That’s all for now.  The next posting will be about the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park with one more posting after that before I run out of photos for a while.

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