Valley of Fire is a state park in Nevada. The nearest town is Overton which is not known for much other than we stayed one evening. This sounds so inglorious. So, why am I writing about it? During last year’s visit, I took 60 photos at Valley of Fire, all of them horrible. Maybe it was due to the lighting condition which was quite overcast. Maybe it was due to the subject matter. Or, maybe it was lack of inspiration by the photographer. In retrospect, it was all three reasons contributing to a lackluster shooting experience and awful results. That’s quite a ringing endorsement to go back!

That was last year. This year we decided to visit again in hopes for an improved result and a new look at the park. Prior to our visit, I decided to analyze my 60 failures to see what not to do. Was there a pattern? After a few moments, it became obvious. Every photo was a large landscape. Maybe I should look at the Valley of Fire differently, more from a macro view. Instead of focusing on the broader landscape, I’d look for patterns of rock and colors. We’d seen some photos on-line that indicated this could be a good approach.

This image is from a small portion of a rock wall. Let the colors and veins inspire your imagination. What do you See?
This image is from another rock wall. Can you see the crying eyes, craggy and leaky nose?
From the same rock wall as the photo just above, this looks like a dentist’s dream – a giant bicuspid.
Even the stairs were colorful.

Red Rocks

While there, I started to think about the name of the state park, Valley of Fire. Shouldn’t something resemble a fire, perhaps in a valley? There are certainly a lot of red rocks, with an even deeper red than Sedona’s rocks, which are known for being a fiery red. Maybe if we photograph some of these rocks during the morning golden hour, they will glow red. Of course, this will only happen if the sun shines.

The next morning had an abundant amount of sunshine. We set off to find Valley of Fire’s most prized attraction, a rock that looks like an elephant (I’ll leave you to figure out its name) and some small arches. The results we found were rocks that were en fuego.

Do you see the elephant?
At the end of our visit, Kathryn found this bush illuminated in the shade. It was a little coolness after all the fire. [photo by Kathryn]

There were so many red rocks that glowed from the sunshine that I have now come to agree that this state park is truly a valley of fire.

Thanks for reading and, remember, it’s all about the light.