A New Year in the Nevada Desert

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After spending time in Las Vegas I decided to venture out to Red Rock Canyon on New Year’s Day. I had made a previous visit but missed out on the natural light that I was looking for. It’s winter season and for me that means dramatic natural light and shadows. It’s actually the most ‘honest’ of natural light! I found myself drawn to the contrast of the highlights, shadows, and colors of the desert landscape and surrounding red canyons.

Being raised in California, I’ve visited many desert landscapes and  as a child my fear of snakes and scorpions changed perspective to a photographer experiencing the desert in it’s vast form. Ok.. still a bit wary of the scorpions and snakes but I’m always cautious.

Red Rock Canyon rekindled my appreciation for the desert. The red-pinkinsh hues of the sandstone hills mixed in with surrounding multicolored rock formations against an aqua blue sky was stunning!  I kept walking until I reached a small plateau that was filled with an army of various cacti. Many of these were short in height and charred from fire a few years back. As daylight changed the cacti took on it’s own shape and started to look like mini-monoliths in the distance. It was very surreal and feeling like I was on another planet. The red sand was interesting as I didn’t hear a sound while I walked. I grabbed a handful and to my surprise it was like powder! Talc-like and disappeared off my hands. Instinct told me to rub some onto the top of my hand that was slightly irritated. Sure enough the sand neutralized the irritation and it stopped immediately. Yes, desert medicine right there to be used!

This was a wonderful opportunity on a personal and photographic level to explore various desert landscapes and to enjoy being in another setting. The desert has a lot to offer and I encourage everyone to get out of city life whenever possible.

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