Erosion Detail, Valley of Fire State Park

Erosion Detail, Valley of Fire State Park

While briefly visiting Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, we had no firm plans or sights we wanted to explore - the park brochure was our only guide to the features of the park. Not far from the park entrance, just past Atlatl Rock, is a feature known as Arch Rock. Rock arches are normally fairly interesting subject matter, but this proved to be a difficult arch to photograph (due to its small size and inaccessability) but was fortunately surrounded by pretty fascinating eroded sandstone.

This patch of eroded sandstone, almost directly below the unremarkable arch, particularly caught my attention. It was a race to catch this photograph in time (particularly because setting up the large format camera still takes several minutes for me, and my preferred lens was not working properly at the time). Everything here was in the shadow of overhanging rock, but sunlight was just starting to break through, which really spoiled the color and quality of the light. I wanted make my photograph while the primary source of light was reflected sunlight from the red sand below, which gave a generally warm and mostly diffuse light. There is just a subtle feel that it is lit from below, which I rarely encounter in landscape photography.

The abstract character of this and my previous Valley of Fire photograph are a bit of a departure from my usual focus, but the color, light and textures seemed to speak for themselves and I was drawn to them. I suspect I will get back to more conventional landscape photographs next.

Tachihara 4x5 | Caltar II-N 150mm f/5.6 | f/22 | 1/8 | Fuji Velvia 50 | Tripod

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