Fire Wave: Valley of Fire

Fire Wave at the very moment of Sunset
One of the newer icons in southwest photography is the so-called "Fire Wave" of Valley of Fire.  This is a remarkable striped sandstone formation with curves.  It faces the west and takes on fantastic colors at sunset.

Capturing this photo proved to be a little more challenging than I anticipated because of the popularity.  The state park has made an easy trail, well marked (if not a bit circuitous) leading to this formation.  Plenty of people traveled here on the same day of my visit.  Most of the people I saw were leaving as I came.  I was heading down the trail with only about 45 minutes before sunset.

Fortunately the distance passed quickly.  I reached the fire wave with time to spare and set up my equipment.  I had been taking pictures for about 3 minutes when 2 other visitors arrived: a man and woman couple.  With my wide-angle lens taking in the landscape, I could not avoid taking them in also, making them part of the picture.  They were doing absolutely NOTHING to get out of my way.  In fact they were wandering all over the place.  It was rare and difficult to time a shot when they stepped out of the view of the camera.

Personally I truly do not mind.  This land is for everyone to share.  I knew that the clone tool in photoshop could be used if necessary to erase a person from the landscape as long as they were not too close, too big or in a critical area.  For this particular shot, they walked out of the frame and I was able to take a picture without having to do any photoshop adjustments later.  Hurray!