Sunrise at Red Rock Canyon

Sunrise at Red Rock Canyon

I’m dedicating this blog to Audrey, my high school sweetheart, who has hiked in these very canyons. I hope they bring back wonderful memories for you and your family.

We got up early this morning to be at Red Rock Canyon for its 6:00 AM opening, which I personally think the Feds need to reconsider because by time you get to your spot and set up you’ve missed the entire blue light and some of the early light. Nonetheless, morning in Red Rock Canyon is a treat for the eyes.

The lead image here was shot from a lookout. I wanted to get this entire mountain chain at an oblique angle as the sun crested the mountains on the opposite side of the wide valley. I used my Photographer’s Ephemeris to figure out where to go the night before.

The image was shot with a Nikon D810, 24-70mm lens at 40mm, ISO 200, 1/13 sec @ f16 with a -1-1/3 EV compensation. I also added a 3-stop Singh-Ray filter to hold back some of the light in the sky and open up the shadows a bit.

The next image was shot in the same way, but at 70mm. Gotta love sunrise.

Once we were done with the overlook, we meandered down the park road and found a nice place to hike. It was still early, so the temps were not yet risen to the bowels of Hades. Two days ago we hiked in 105F degree temps (40.6 C) and, believe me, that was no treat, lugging a heavy backpack and tripod. At 8:00 AM this morning it was a cool 90F!

My wife spotted this composition at the crest of a hill. One of the joys of wildlife and landscape photography is the daily reminder of just how tenacious life on Earth is.

If you are ever in Las Vegas, be sure to bring your camera with you and visit Valley of Fire state park and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. You will not be disappointed.