I went down to Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend and made sure to visit Valley of Fire State Park. Valley of Fire is located about 55 miles NE of Vegas. Just a short 40 minute drive or so and the strip malls and casinos are replaced with surreal redrock and multi-colored hoodoos. Being my first trip to VOF, I was excited to see what shooting opportunities awaited me. Needless to say, I felt the usual anticipation of visiting a new area–wondering if I’d be able to produce some solid images from what little time I had to spend there.
No more than 30 seconds from the park entrance, we rounded a bend and I couldn’t hold the smiles in. Vibrant redrock stood delicately balanced against a grey desert backdrop–creating the stark contrast I was hoping for. I just had to get out and shoot. This was the first of several stops, but by far the most scenic was Rainbow Vista. This scenic overlook provides a stunning panorama of VOF, stretching for miles into the distance. Mounds of pink, orange and yellow sandstone rose like soldiers marching in the distance. The sun was getting low in the sky, and the side lighting was awesome for capturing the texture and shape of these “soldiers”.
Despite my unfamiliarity with the surroundings, the outing was a success and I feel as though I came away with some decent desert scenics. Desert shooting is a new experience for me–one that I hope to repeat often. It’s amazing how many “microscapes” there are in VOF. I would love to spend more time out there. Enjoy the images!