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The story behind this photo is quite simple; nature keeps us young. While visiting my parents in southern Utah, my dad was really excited to bring me to Valley of Fire. I would venture to guess that he had been looking forward to this little excursion together for quite some time. He made a trip through there once with my mom, and I could see the years coming off of him as he described it to me. Naturally, I agreed to go. As we drove through and began exploring the area I was mesmerized by the varying colors of the rocks, the way the light shined off of them, and ultimately the "otherworldly" sensation I felt being there. The place truly feels as though you have entered Mars. As we made our way through, I noticed this scene in my rear view mirror.
We pulled to the side of the road and I couldn't help but lose my breath at the giant rocks around us with those deep red colors. It was one of those, "I won't believe something like this exists unless I experience it for myself" moments. The only thing in the image that reminded me we were still on Earth was the road leading back out the way we came, winding its way through the rocks and disappearing over the ridge. We were surrounded by Mother Nature, in all her glory. I pulled my camera and tripod from the car and made my way to the center of the road. It was later in the afternoon and, in February, it was the off season so I had several minutes to work with before being interrupted by other motorists wanting to drive through.
As I set my camera and started taking pictures, I looked up along the tall cliffs around me and was reminded once again why I enjoy landscape photography as much as I do. It's not all about taking pretty pictures, although that is certainly an element of it. It's about taking a moment to step away from the hustle and bustle of life, get outside, and enjoy the world that surrounds us. As we sat there enjoying the scenery around us, marveling over the "complex simplicity" of it all and breathing in the fresh desert air around us, I could feel the stresses of life fall off of my shoulders. The years of my boyhood youth returned, longing to climb those cliffs and explore every nook and cranny. Yes, nature will keep you young if you explore it.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor