The Fire Wave–Valley of Fire State Park

16 03 2015

Valley of Fire State Park is about 45 minutes drive north of Las Vegas. IMO, it’s the more interesting of the two :) Tucked away ,about a 30 minute walk from a parking lot, is "The Fire Wave" It’s not "THE WAVE", but it’s a little wave of colour that beckons to photographers.. "COME – shoot me!"

We hurried in to the location to beat the impending sunset and potential downpour, only to get a few shots in PRE downpour and then some really fun shots of a temporary waterfall and water flowing through the Fire Wave. What a crazy outing.

1. The Gathering storm.
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Flowing Colours
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Flash "creek" running through the FireWave
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Waterfall from the FireWave
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Brilliant colours as the sun sets.
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

More photos available in the Flickr Set:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650920767417

Comments and Critiques are always welcome.





White Pocket–in the Vermillion Cliffs

16 03 2015

The White Pocket Wilderness is a little geological area on the Paria Plateau in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. The area feels a bit like the earth ruptured and out came red lava from under a white crust – of course it’s all sandstone so it’s NOT actually the case but it DOES feel that way.

1. Twisted Guardians
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Ruptured Cross-bedding
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Surreal
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Reflected Beauty
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. The Sea Turtle
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The Turtle
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. A Perfect Hexagon
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Hexagon!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are other interesting photos in the Flickr set for those that are interested:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157649047044503/

Comments and Critique always welcome!





Coyote Buttes South

15 03 2015

When planning our trip to the canyons of the Southwest, we had planned to hit Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, Arches, Antelope Canyon but I hadn’t really heard much about the Vermillion Cliffs. Once I started doing some looking, I found there was a VERY popular place called "The WAVE". The Wave resides in Coyote Buttes NORTH permit area. Only 10 permits per day are issued ahead of time on the Internet and 10 are issued the day before at the BLM office in Kanab. VERY tough to get into due to the popularity (I think the Internet bookings were solid until October when we looked in Early Feb). Someone on Flickr mentioned that the Coyote Buttes SOUTH may not have "The WAVE" but still had some really cool and probably more varied scenery than the North. Plus, less people try to get in, so the 20 permits that are available daily via the Internet can be easier to get. We checked online and 2 permits were available for ONE of the days of our time in the area… At $5/person we snatched them up!

We learned next that the roads into the area are "dubious" in good weather and downright "scary" when the weather is wet and that we’d be wise to hire a guide. $175/person later we were hooked up with one of the oldest outfits in the area, Paria Outpost and Outfitters.. a decision that I am super glad we took. Well, without much more babbling… here are some pictures from the FIRST half of the day spent at Coyote Buttes South. Another post will have the second half of the day, which we spent at "White Pocket"

1. Southern "Wave"
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Precarious Balance of the "Control Tower" or "Dali’s Tower"
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Welcome to another world
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Line painters stop for nothing
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Fragile Beauty – Millimetre thick fins of rock in the falling snow
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Amazing patterns
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are so many amazing structures and patterns… More at the Flickr set:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8BfW8X

Comments and Critique always welcome!





Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona

13 03 2015

Near Page, Arizona is a place where the Colorado River forms an oxbow in the Glen Canyon. It’s a massive oxbow, in a very deep canyon. Due to the fact that you need a pretty wide angle lens to capture the magnitude of the bend, some of the depth gets lost in the feel. We were are the bend a couple of times. On the first visit it was late afternoon and we caught a couple of different moods of the river and our last visit came AFTER sunset, resulting in a different feel yet again. I hope you like these different "moods" of Horseshoe Bend

1. Sunny, bright.
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The different moods of Horseshoe Bend
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. With Boat and approaching storm
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The different moods of Horseshoe Bend
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. After the sand/windstorm
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The different moods of Horseshoe Bend
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. After sunset
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The different moods of Horseshoe Bend
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. At night with Venus and stars
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The different moods of Horseshoe Bend
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

It was an interesting challenge to shoot, as you sit on the edge of the precipitous cliff. When the wind started blowing hard, it was a case of grab your gear and hunker down before any of it blows into the canyon. Lovely place, though – and a nice easy walk from the parking lot. Worth the visit if you’re in Page, Arizona.

For more variations on the theme, you can check out:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650907071179

Comments and Critiques always welcome!





Lower Antelope Canyon

11 03 2015

Stop #3 on our Canyons and Cool Places trip was Lower Antelope Canyon – quite possibly the most photographed slot canyon in the world. I felt it was important to do my part to document it as well.  We used a company that is located right at the lower canyon, called “Lower Antelope Canyon Tours” :)We took the “Photographers’ Tour” which meant that we were able to spend 2 hours in the canyon with tripods!  Our guide, a Navajo woman named Quintana was wonderful and patient.  She even let us run overtime a bit Winking smile  The tour was $50USD which was $22 more than the regular tour. Worth EVERY penny!

1.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Many more (it can get a bit dizzying to look at) at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650891312870

Comments and Critique always welcome!





Bryce Canyon National Park

11 03 2015

 

Stop #2 on our "Canyons and cool stuff" trip was Bryce Canyon National Park. Here are some shots of the time there…

1. Before even getting to Bryce, there was "Red Canyon"
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Red Canyon
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. The view out from Sunset Point
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Bryce Canyon and Beyond
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Canyon Panorama
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Panoramic View of Bryce Canyon
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Thor’s Hammer and the Temple of Osiris
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Thor’s Hammer and Osiris’s Temple
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Navajo Loop Trail
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Looking down into the Navajo Loop
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Sunrise over Bryce Canyon
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Bryce Canyon Sunrise
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

It’s an amazing feeling to walk down among the hoodoos. For more pictures of this lovely park you can check the album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157651229460246

I hope you enjoy the virtual tour of this National Park.





Zion National Park – Cliffs and Canyons

9 03 2015

I went for a road trip to see a few National Parks and other cool stuff in the Southwestern US. Here is the "Best of Zion"

1. OK – so this one is a cheat. We didn’t get to Zion in time for Sunset but this mountain just lit right up for us
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Sunset on a mountain approaching Zion
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Sunrise on the Towers of the Virgin
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Sunrise at the Towers of the Virgin
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Towers of the Virgin on fire in the morning sunrise
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Sunrise on the Towers of the Virgin
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Zion Canyon from the Overlook
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Zion Canyon from the Overlook
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Silver Trees
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Silver Trees
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Contrasts in colours
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Sheer White Cliffs of Zion and Green Trees of the valley
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The whole set from Zion can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157648927376453

I hope you are inspired by the beauty of this lovely National Park.








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