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The Valley of Fire State Park is is a well known location, about an hour north of Las Vegas, Nevada. My photography colleague, our wives and I hoped to camp right in the park, so we could get an early start in the mornings and stay later at night, and we got lucky, bagging a pair of superb spots in the Atlatl Campground. We decided to stay for a week and looking forward to seven mornings and evenings of shooting, not to speak of sightseeing as much as we could.
On Sunday my shooting partner and I left our campsites and made an early morning trip to a rather secluded location west of White Domes Road. Breakfast was out of the question and we settled for coffee.
We parked the truck at one of pullouts, loaded up our gear. and headed into the sea of rocks and pinnacles to the west.
We were wishing for some clouds to give us the sunrise sky we wanted. The temperature was much more comfortable than it would be later in the day. We split up and wandered around. This short distance from the pavement we had the location completely to ourselves (it's amazing how the land swallows up people in the desert even a quarter of a mile from roads).
Fortunately the light was fabulous reflecting off the rocks, even if the sky wasn't what we hoped.
I was intrigued by the many fins in this area. I was worried about how fragile they might be and tried to tread lightly. This spot looked ideal, and I set up the tripod and shot a set of bracketed exposures (1/30, 1/15 and 1/8). This image is a blended exposure using those images.
A week is barely enough in the Valley of Fire State Park.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor