Friday, April 12, 2013

Windstone Arch in the Valley of Fire

Windstone Arch in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Despite going between St. George, Utah and Las Vega,s Nevada innumerable times over the last 13 years, I had not stopped at Valley of Fire State Park until recently.  In the last 6 months I have made 3 separate trips to this wonderful discovery.  It is a discovery to me although I know it is not a secret to other photographers.  It is easy to see why photographers love this location: lots of beautiful scenery all in a very compact location.

There are many iconic photographs from this small state park.  One of them is Windstone Arch.  There are several different photographs of this small, delicate arch.  Each is slightly different.  I wanted to visit this location and take my own photograph.

It is very helpful to have accurate GPS coordinates for this arch.  It is so small and it is located inside an alcove.  It cannot be seen without sticking your head inside a rock.  I have heard that many people have accurate directions and even GPS coordinates and still have difficulty finding this location.  Because of this I was a little bit wary myself.  However, when I went, I found it without any difficulty whatsoever.  It is only a few steps away from the road and there are plenty of footprints going in all different directions.  The arch itself is at ground level.

This is a morning location.  I arrived at 9:30 AM after shooting at a different location for sunrise.  This is about as late as I would recommend for this particular location because direct sunlight begins to come in and make the contrast too great.  At this time of day, there were lots of shadows and light reflected in all directions.  I particularly like the arcs of light over the sandstone at the base of the arch.  I used a vertical orientation of the camera to capture all of this.

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