Red Rocks of the Desert (Nevada)

Today I cannot pinpoint the exact location where I took this photo but it was somewhere in the deserts of Nevada between the Valley of Fire and the Hoover Dam. After visiting the Valley of Fire for a short while, I decided against taking Interstate 15 to Las Vegas. Instead, I took Route 167 that runs along Lake Mead and the Colorado River all the way to the Hoover Dam.

It was my first drive through the deserts of Nevada and I was not quite sure what to expect. I did not have any specific plans on what to photograph since that was the “transitional” day of my trip to the Southwest (US).  The only plan for that day was to drive from Zion National Park to Las Vegas and get ready for the last leg of my trip to Los Angeles.

While driving along Lake Mead, the landscape was changing constantly and, somewhere in the middle of my drive, I found myself in a valley full of rocks with unusual shapes and colors.

I spent at least an hour next to the red rock featured in my photo, resting and reflecting on my trip. I realized that only 24 hours earlier I was driving through the snow storm at Bryce Canyon and now I was having a picnic in the unbearable heat of the desert.

Travel Photography Blog - Nevada. Northshore Road
Nevada. Northshore Road
Loc: 36.233199, -114.566386

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens:  Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Bracketing: 5 shots ( -2, -1, 0, +, +2 )
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix 

Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 5  images to tone map image ( -2, -1, 0, +, +2 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop:  cleaning,  contrast.

Photoshop Plugins:
– Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky)
– Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors.

Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.
  • Kishore Jothady says:

    Superb image with most natural look minus the exaggerated artificial look normally associated with HDR. I am a photographer cum traveler from India and spent three months in Arizona visiting all the Nevada, Utah places described in your interesting articles. I too used a 10-24mm lens at Red Canyon Country but a Tamron one which I won as a prize in Tamron’s All India Photographic Contest. However,the point I am trying to make is in deserts of these three states, I did not venture deeper near the canyons into the bushes for fear of reptiles. I was cautioned that many a times rattle snakes hide in such bushes. This fear prevented me from shooting many interesting and unusual angles. You seem to be a brave guy. Most hearty congrats on providing us with an opportunity to see such beautiful images shot by you and most importantly, giving us an insight into the technical aspects which most of the photographers hesitate to divulge. I have recently become your subscriber and look forward to adding plenty to my knowledge. I am only 74 years ‘young’, so I am sure I can learn a lot from you. Keep up the good work.

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