The idea of finding just one place that finds me continually returning to photograph had me contemplating for some time. Another spot with extensive imagery in my files was going to claim the ‘muse’ title until I happened to glance over at my equipment. Wait a minute. There’s nothing to mull over here. I bought a special tripod to photograph this spot and I still refer to it as my Valley Of Fire tripod. End of internal discussion.
Not too long ago, I thought I was through with my photographic efforts at Valley Of Fire. I felt as though I had great images of all the unique features I had come across, and had left little or no room for improvement on those. Recently, however, I have returned to cover new subjects as well as old subjects in a new light. The enthusiasm hasn’t waned, and I know I still have much ground to cover in this fascinating land. The strongest lure here, for me anyway, is the vast number of arches. They’re not grand scale, skyline-sweeping shapes like those found near Moab, Utah. Instead, these are delicate carvings into the soft and fragile sandstone of the region, which usually require getting into awkward, cramped spaces to photograph. Thus the tripod. Small, lightweight, with multiple leg position locks, and all the while durable enough to have been used with my 4×5 film camera that outweighs it at least 4-to-1.
The photograph above was one of my early finds. During my recent trip, I found myself in this same spot under soft-light overcast conditions, which allowed for capturing the details of the sandstone a little better. Although I like both versions, I find it hard to beat those clouds! The next photo, a little more recent, was one of those I found along a favorite route. I have never finished this route because I keep finding something interesting along the way.
The bottom photo was from my last trip to Valley Of Fire. I had been here once before, under overcast skies. Although the shapes were intriguing, I knew there was more to be gotten from this location with a little bit of sun. I don’t think I need to return to this one…..but I might.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Muse.”