My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

A Road Less Traveled – Valley of Fire NP

Follow the Light

Follow the Light

We have all heard the phrase but, you have not seen nor felt its literal meaning until you have set foot in this park. What a gem! It is located just a little over an hour north of Las Vegas near a town named Overton. On a map, this park looks very navigable as it has only a couple of main roads in and out. Now that’s on paper, but in reality, the enormity of what it covers can only be experienced by parking your vehicle and actually setting foot on one of many trails. There is Balancing Rock, Elephant Rock, just to name a few of the manyย  more such sedimentary formations. I mention this because I was very happy with my choice of going with an experienced photo guide. Without his insight and direction, our group would have definitely missed many unique and mind-boggling beautiful vistas.

Our sensei for this 2 day adventure was Joe Rossbach. He is a truly gifted photographer who has traveled and explored this park many times. Joe took us down, around and over numerous rocks and paths until we could visualize what he saw. The sky was very dramatic, with rain clouds building in the distance. Waiting like hyenas for their prey to be exposed, we were rewarded with subtle but very specific light. We could just sit and be in awe of the natural beauty that was in front of us all. Our group was guided to a small slot canyon, which I for one, would have never found nor been able to maneuver through.

During the two rewarding days spent on this trip, I was reminded of how special it is to be willing to open oneโ€™s visual and personal senses to the not so obvious path. By taking the one less traveled, I learned a very crucial lesson…. donโ€™t just seek out a map but find a time proven reliable guide!!!

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54 responses

  1. An absolute gorgeous series of photos – I particularly enjoyed the monochrome shots. Glad I stumbled upon your blog – looking forward to more.

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    March 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    • Big thanks for the visit and especially the comment.

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      March 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm

  2. Excellent article. I mean seriously exceptional.
    However, the loading was kind of long. Took not less than 40 seconds for the page to load.
    The information was worthwhile, but nonetheless,
    you may need to check into that.

    Like

    March 8, 2013 at 5:29 am

    • Thanks Serlene… I did look into it and made my future pic file size smaller. That should work for desktops with a landline….. as for mobile devices that may be another story ๐Ÿ™‚

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      March 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

  3. Great shots, the black and white images are very nice. Nothing like the desert to direct your attention. Well done.

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    January 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    • Thanks Barb and Larry… I was totally immersed when there. Thanks for the visit and comments.

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      January 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm

  4. Best of all I appreciate the pictures with texture and pattern. Beautiful work.

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    January 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

  5. Really nice work, Mike…and it certainly brings back memories from my trip to VOF earlier this year. Looks like you hit many of the park’s “hot” spots–I see you were at Crazy Hill, the White Domes slot, Pink Canyon, Windstone Arch, and, of course, the Fire Wave. Oh, and the Cabins (I didn’t shoot there, myself, though I did check it out). The image with the road looks like the Scenic Drive.

    It certainly is a great place to shoot–I’d love to get back there again at some point–and you did a terrific job of capturing it.

    Like

    December 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    • Really appreciate the visit Kerry…. that road was the one I had to follow back to where I parked… and its as long as it looked. Felt blessed just being in the park, such natural beauty.

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      December 28, 2012 at 3:32 am

      • I did more than my share of hiking the road when I was there, so I know what you’re talking about.

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        December 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

  6. Great set of photos Mike. I never even heard of this National Park. I love the colors of the landscapes and your black and whites are really really well done.

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    December 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • It’s funny how we come across info… myself included about never hearing of this park. As you can see it is not to be missed. Big thanks for stopping by.

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      December 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  7. It’s like being in another world. Love the one that says, “Follow The Light.” Somehow it is a timely message in a world with so much pain. Thanks for sharing this.

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    December 18, 2012 at 6:36 am

    • Thanks ‘IT’ … photography for me is an escape but also a reality check.

      Like

      December 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm

  8. I am continually amazed by your images! Thanks for taking me there.

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    December 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    • Really appreciate you stopping by…. especially from a gifted photog.

      Like

      December 17, 2012 at 1:26 am

  9. Beautiful photos Mike. You’ve really conveyed a sense of timelessness in them. It looks such a harsh place – it does make you wonder at the skills of the people who lived there before roads and vehicles existed.

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    December 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

    • I envision the same thing when shooting in remote places… like how they could handle a long hard winter?

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      December 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

  10. Oh Mike m- what a place to go – and photograph! LUCKY YOU!!! I wish I will be able to go here myself once too, and until then I hope I will remember your words above…. – and your great photos….!

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    December 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    • Thanks Truels…. your inner thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.

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      December 16, 2012 at 1:33 am

  11. Beautiful colours and lines!

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    December 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    • Big thanks for the follow Eugene.

      Like

      December 16, 2012 at 1:30 am

  12. Melissa

    Great pics! We love all of Valley if Fire and are in the park several times each week.

    Like

    December 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    • Lucky you… I felt blessed to be there for 2 days.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 1:53 am

  13. Mike, what wonderful rich images! I love how you emphasized the texture of the landscape…I think that really pulls your images together very nicely. Keep ’em coming!

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    December 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    • I will try and keep up… its tough at this time of year with family and work. Those textures just seemed to be everywhere!!!!

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 1:55 am

  14. Great images Mike! I can tell through your images that you spent time connecting with the landscape before shooting. I can feel your passion and see through your eye in each of the images. Thank you for your continued inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

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    December 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    • Thanks Eric… it was very easy to get caught up in the sheer natural beauty out there.

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      December 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

  15. Just stunning… Absolutely sublime.

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    December 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

    • Big thanks for the follow ‘FG’

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      December 11, 2012 at 1:58 am

  16. wooww!! once again you amaze me! They are beautiful Mike.. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    December 8, 2012 at 7:41 am

    • As always I try and commit to wherever I shoot… glad you like them.

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      December 11, 2012 at 1:59 am

  17. Mike, amazing photos! You certainly captured the tone on tone of the rock formations and made them so inviting. You capture such awesome landscapes — such an eye.

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    December 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    • I actually try and use both eyes when I am in the wild…. one for the comp and the other to see how close I am standing to the edge!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      December 11, 2012 at 2:00 am

  18. Pat

    What fantastic photos! Your work is so inspiring.

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    • Thanks Pat… happy to bring and emotion to the pics.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:01 am

  19. Bonnie Rovere

    These are all simply beautiful!

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    • Really appreciate the follow Bonnie.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:02 am

  20. Jo Walter

    Spectacular!!! Wow…I missed this place too when I was out there years ago…makes me want to go back! All great pics…especially love the B&W Indian lady, the road leading to some mystery place…and the cave like scoop in the mountain…makes me want to sit in there and view the world! Can’t wait for your next blog

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

    • Hey Jo … love the B/W conversions also. The native american was shot on my way back home .. they were having a small dance at the ‘Lost City’ so I got lucky. Oh and that cave was an opening just 3 ft tall… had to lay down to get that shot!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

  21. beautiful shots of the red baked earth and rocky strata, especially love the dancers

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    December 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    • Those dancers were a really pleasant surprise after shooting landscapes for 2 days.

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      December 11, 2012 at 2:06 am

  22. Diane Morton

    Fabulous Mike (as always)!!

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

    • You should see the out-takes!!!!!

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      December 11, 2012 at 2:07 am

  23. denisebushphoto

    WOWIE … you’ve outdone yourself Mike! They are all my favorites but the one with the road is my extra favorite. You are so lucky to be able to go on all of these guided trips! You might want to think about a program that provides information on all the workshops and leaders/guides you have followed. (Thank you for letting live vicariously through your photo travels & adventures!)

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

    • Hey ‘D’… its what I am here for.. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Lucky, maybe… but it takes a lot of planing to get away and fit small trips into my work schedule. That road shot was on a long walk back to our cars…. errrrr …. up hill!!!!!!

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:10 am

  24. bart ingraldi

    Once again, I must live vicariously through you. I can’t wait to see some in person.
    Bart

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

    • Not to worry… I will be by to share and see what your seasoned eye likes.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

  25. Kathleen

    Spectacular images Mike. Thanks for sharing this journey with us!!!!

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    • My pleasure, Kathleen… it is the main reason I started this blog.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:13 am

  26. Excellent gallery!

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

    • Big thanks for the visit Kurt and the follow.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:13 am

  27. Wow! Once again, a blog post that makes me want to pack my bags. Must get out there someday!

    Like

    December 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    • This is one of the most overlooked parks… you would not be disappointed.

      Like

      December 11, 2012 at 2:14 am

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