Hammond Raffetto Art

Furnace Acrylic Block


The Arizona slot canyons appear on an awful lot of bucket lists, and for good reason. Walking through them is like being submerged in a red sand ocean, where every wave and current is frozen in stone. Around each corner is another brain-defying collection of curves, waves, lines and light. And that light is just unbelievable. And exceptionally difficult to catch and portray. Dynamic range inside the canyons generally exceeds that of the human eye, from near darkness to blinding glare. And it's way beyond the capability of most modern cameras.

As beautiful as they are, the canyons are also an aesthetic challenge. How to share all that beauty when, every direction, every new view is lovelier than the last? The short answer is: I don't know. We have several canyon pieces here, each with a very different perspective. Furnace was originally captured in what is now known as Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon. Formerly known as Secret Canyon, access is managed by a single Navajo family. I booked a tour spur of the moment, and found myself with only three other people and our guide. We had the entire canyon to ourselves for two hours. While we wandered, weak-kneed, our guide played her flute, the soft wind sound echoing through time. 

This is a long exposure of 30 seconds, not even a blink in the life of the walls above me. While I watched, the sun burst through the roof setting the walls of the canyon on fire.

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