Red Rock Canyon

December 6, 2011 at 8:00 am (Landscape Photography, Leah McDaniel Photography, Photography) (, , , )

I am not much of a gambler. I just can’t seem to get past the fact that whatever amount I feed into a slot machine could have purchased a meal, bale of hay, sack of dog food, or whatever else I happen to be thinking about while I am feeding that insatiable money-gobbler. And forget table games; especially poker. I might as well hand over my money and save us all the time, because whatever I am feeling shows immediately on my face. I am not much of an actress and don’t think I can master that skill this late in life, so not much point there. Nope, gambling just doesn’t seem fun to me. Therefore, I am somehow immune to the lure of Las Vegas, to the eternal chagrin of my husband. He is always searching for ways to tempt me south. The lights are beautiful, says he. I nod. Yes, the lights are pretty at night, but I tire of them quickly and wish I could see the stars instead, which are nearly absent because of all of the light pollution in the city. It is warm in the winter, he reasons, hoping to shift me a bit in his direction. Well, he has me there. Bend winters can be cold and long. There are beautiful places to photograph. Ahh! He has me and he knows it. After years of trying, he has finally pried me free of Oregon’s comfortable grasp. I fly south with camera in hand and tripod tucked into suitcase and we did find some beauty in Nevada to photograph.

I have not sorted through all the images yet, but I thought I would share a few from Red Rock Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas. If you have read some of my earlier posts you will know that I am a sucker for rock formations. Though very different from what I normally shoot, it is no less stunning. The images have a nearly surreal quality to them because the colors are so vibrant, but I swear, I did not boost any colors while editing them.

I hope you enjoy!

I thought I would begin with this one to give you some idea of the scale of the place.

Red Rock Canyon is a National Conservation Area administered by the BLM.  The scenic drive through the canyon is a 13-mile loop which will bring you to and through many different sandstone and limestone formations.  It appeals to photographers, rock climbers, horseback riders and hikers.  It is well worth the price of entry to get a glimpse of some of these formations up close and personal.

Red Sandstone

Calico Hills Formation

The sandstone is soft and easily erodes under the elements. There are some places in the park that you may not rock climb within 24 hours of rain because the sandstone becomes brittle, allowing hand and footholds to break or gear to pull out.

The nature of the hard and soft pockets of rock has allowed nature to erode it into some interesting shapes.

Calico Hills

More interesting formations

One of my favorite rocks there, with Yucca in the foreground.

One of my favorite rocks there, with Yucca in the foreground.

More erosion patterns

Looking down. Can you see the tinaja where the water gathers in the stone tank?

Yellow and red sandstone before grey limestone.

Turtlehead Peak

This is the view from High Point Overlook. You can see the Calico Hills formation and in the shadow to the right, Las Vegas in the background.

Finally, I will leave you with a black and white image.  It seems strange to want to produce black and white in such a colorful place, but here it is anyway.

Slot canyon and cloudy sky

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1 Comment

  1. Renard Moreau said,

    [ Smiles ] Thank you for posting those pictures.

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