Sunrise on Elephant Rock

It was just shy of a year ago that two friends and I ventured out to Nevada’s Valley Of Fire State Park. We left our hotel on the strip in Vegas about 90 mins before sunrise and began the hour long drive to the park that non of us had ever visited.  A little searching on Google set our sights on Elephant Rock. Navigating in the dark in a previously unexplored place and looking for a specific rock formation proved to be quite difficult! But we found it! Or did we?!

We actually did not stop at the official Elephant Rock – though we were certain that we had.  The rock formation undoubtably looked like an elephant.  Notice the ‘trunk’ that creates the arch and the floppy ear that is just exiting the frame at the top of the photograph. It wasn’t until after we left the park and I did some more research that we realized we had “missed the spot.”  Oh well!  This spot was absolutely incredible!

We arrived just before sunrise, and I had just moments to set up my tripod and compose the photo.  There is a lot that goes into the setup of photographing a landscape: view scene, determine composition, choose appropriate lens for the correct field of view, mount lens to camera, setup tripod, mount camera to tripod, compose frame, level camera, analyze depth of field, set appropriate aperture, set focus for the foreground, determine and set shutter speed.  Racing against the clock to get all set to capture at just the right moment creates quite an exciting rush.  It is a rush that motivates us to overcome the the strong arms of our beds pulling us back in as our alarm clocks blair at 4:30am!  In the end, it is usually worth it.  This was no exception.

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