Valley of Fire, Nevada

In Creativity and Inspiration, Images, Jessie and I, Photographs & Photoshopping, Travel by David39 Comments

Morning coffee at Valley of Fire S.P. and a chance to look at the maps.

Today marks one month of traveling. We left Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park this morning after two nights there. The Valley of Fire is spectacular and while there are weeks worth of photography to be had, we’re still on a timeline that’s somewhat inflexible. Places like this tend to be overwhelming so I focused on the thing that most struck me – the rocks. The lines and colours of the rocks were amazing, particularly at White Domes where we spent the bulk of our time and might just have camped the first night because the campgrounds were completely filled with R.O.U.S’s (RVs of Un-Necessary Size).

Because a few readers have commented, correctly, that I seem to be in my “blue period” recently, I am posting here some images from my experimental “pink period” just to show I’m no one-trick pony. (I am a one-trick pony but I can perform those tricks in multiple hues.)

All of these were shot with my iPhone with the exception of only one which was made with my Nikon D3s and a 24mm lens. When I get frustrated these days, by lines or a complete inability to frame a photograph, I take out my iPhone and play. The total lack of options is freeing and the small size allows me to play and move about without the weight of a bigger camera. And the files are great. I submit the next deadline on Photographically Speaking next week and I’ve just included a couple of these iPhone images for the book.

Next stop Utah and one night in Zion before moving on to Monument Valley en route to New Mexico.


  1. As if I wasn’t already excited about shooting valley Of Fire, your photos drew me in. Nice work/style. Love the feeling they evoke.

  2. I love them all, blue or pink or any shade in between. Ok, maybe I have a special fondness for the blue ones. And you are very trendy with your iphone photos.

  3. I read that the iPhone is now the most-used camera out there. It doesn’t surprise me. The iPhone has replaced my point-and-shoot. These are really great images. The quality for the web is comparable to the D3.

  4. Author

    @Rob – You picked the only one I shot with the D3s, but I’ve got iphone versions that are just as good, only bigger.

  5. David – I absolutely love the third one down…if that was shot with an iPhone, I am truly impressed!

    Too bad I missed you in Peoria.

  6. David, I was one of the camera operators at your creative live workshop last year, lots of discussions during breaks. V of F is an amazing place, after a week in Death Valley I went there late fall. Long exposures at dusk / late evening. The colors…

    As to Zion, Bryce, I hope you travel through Red Canyon,
    Torrey, Hanksville, on your way to Moab / Arches. If you have time go to Hovenweep and just wonder, why there?

    Be well


  7. I love the third image there, with the desiccated bush. I like the symmetry!
    I’ve been hearing a lot about iPhones and their photo apps. I follow some on Tumblr: Hipstamatics, which is one of those fun apps that make the photos look old. About a year ago I read about photographer Todd Heisler photographing Moscow with his iPhone, and those came out great.
    Definitely play around with it! See what you can do with it that you can’t with a much larger setup!

  8. beautiful. I Love this place it is a hidden gem that few people seem to know about thanks for spreading the word.

  9. David,

    Great images and what a wonderful place to photograph. Last time I was there I was playing around with my Canon 20D that I had recently converted for infrared….too much fun. You’ve inspired me to return to the area. Keep up the great work…I’m really enjoying your trip.


  10. I continue to be amazed (with a great degree of disbelief) as to how quickly you’re going through the country! I feel sorry for you — there’s no connection to the land through which you’re traveling. It’s too fast!

  11. Only one day in Zion?
    Great place, I found that even five days wasn’t enough time. Will be going back, to walk back up into the narrows.
    Enjoy the journey

  12. Very beautiful images. Love the pinks.

    Just a little side note, I have always, in my own work been found of the “blue images,” which happen quite naturally during the “blue hour.“

    The human eye does not see that time as literally blue, but the camera does, which is kind of neat.

    The blue hour comes from the French expression l’heure bleue, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day.

  13. David, you are going to love Zion and Monument Valley. I don’t know if you will have the time, but Bryce canyon is another great place to check out.
    The reality is that there is so much color and beauty in that part of the country that we just don’t have in other parts.

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  15. I passed you & Jessie on UT9 between Virgin & Rockville today heading in to Zion Canyon. I was in the green Honda Element with all the stickers. I noticed your stickers when My girlfriend asked, “Is that a Jeep?” I answered, “No, it’s a photographer in a DEFENDER!” Good idea to put your URL sticker on Jessie as I’ll be following your journey from here. Too bad you’ve only got one day in Zion!

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  17. I’m lovin the pink images…and with the iphone no less!!!!! I have been using mine a lot lately……safe travels….:)

  18. I meant play with it, not lay with it. Can you tell I am tired?!?

  19. I like the pink hues-it’s very well suited for your subject matter. Love the lines. On another note the lens was safely delivered to the office today. Can’t wait to get home from Fl to lay with it. I am in a lensbaby composer kick this trip. Challenging myself a bit more to break out of a creative rut…

  20. You gotta hit Capital Reef on your way to Zion, there’s an amazing dirt road (Bullfrog Notom Road) that follows the less travled side of Capitol Reef with some amazing sites and no R.O.U.S because they simply can’t drive the road.

  21. What programme or app do you use to edit iphone images? Or is it just your wonderful photography expertise and presentation because all the shots are great.
    BTW still pretty dull here in Vancouver!

  22. Why, exactly, did I purchase that 5D/II last year? Those shots from the iPhone look amazing!

  23. Those first two David are really awesome, I wonder which one was with the Nikon? Have fun and relax, I can understand the kid in a sweet shop scenario, too much too choose from, its a Aladin’s cave of delights where you are traveling.

  24. “R.O.U.Ses? I don’t think they exist!” Your pics are beautiful and evocative (I want to go where you’re going and do what you’re doing!). I love your perspective on the trappings of gear and the freedom of constraint – I’m getting inspired, and I appreciate that. Thanks for thinking how you think, being who you are, and posting it for all of us to see.

  25. Love the images David. Just a few weeks ago I was on a similar trip that included VoF and some of the other spots you are heading to. Using my iPhone was a lot of fun and liberating in the way you describe. All 4 of us had iphones and we were consistently impressed by the quality of the in-phone panoramas we made in the field with the inexpensive Autostitch app (which you probably already own). Fun!

  26. I think pink suits you!

    I’ve been having so much fun with my little Canon S95. Much less noise than my D80 at the higher ISOs, and so much easier to carry. I also feel less intrusive with it.

  27. I love the Valley of Fire! I had an epic time while I was there last September. I focussed on mainly wide-angle landscapes… your detail images make me want to go back and get in close again and focus on details! Beautiful images, David.

  28. loving the post cards. These are great, whatever you shot them with! I’ve been playing around with a fuji instax and having a blast. Really looking forward to what you see in Zion.
    PS, that’s one big ol’ map book!

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