When i first visited this wondrous place it was at the height of summer where there are several signs warning the danger of trekking through the main attraction areas because of the extreme heat … uh … yes, they aren’t kidding. It was desert hot and no matter how much water you drank and had on you, you are still at risk to potential bodily harm. At the time, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 120*F/49*C with little to no shade to run underneath.
I just knew I’d be back.
Having just returned from the Vegas area, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The weather was clear, brisk, yet otherwise, it felt comforting in full view of the sun during these cooler months of the area. Even though getting a late start, visiting the attractions was a bit rushed, but not overly brief. There were, however, much more people trolling around so it really put you composition skills to work to try and remove them from your frame! Get high! Get low? Crop in! Change your angle! All good stuff!
The cool thing about photographing red rock is that there are more colors in front of you than can be readily seen in direct sunlight. As the sun is low on the horizon or is setting towards the horizon, colorful hues of pink, burnt orange, purples, magentas and faint blues begin to show themselves – it’s quite spectacular. If you know what you’re looking for, you can spot them in direct sunlight. (see the Fire Wave image below where the part in direct sunlight is orange and white and where the areas in shadow are slightly more bluer. )
I love this place. Easy to get to and amazing natural structures. If you find this place in your plans … remember, carry-in/carry-out to reduce your footprint during your stay … heck, you’re driving back out aren’t you? Take you rubbish with you! What I also witnessed was climbing. Some structures cannot handle this abuse (like the one above), had I seen someone climbing up the elephant, I am sure that I’d ask them to get the hell down and respect such treasure with your eyes – forget the selfie to document your ignorance and selfishness, but gladly it didn’t. Here is my vision from this past visit.