Living in NYC, you tend to forget what a real sunset looks like. With houses and skyscrapers, sunset for us comes an hour or two early. I venture out west about once a year, and submerge myself in the landscape. I started out as a landscape photographer, and a part of me will always find the natural beauty of the world around us captivating. If you can stand the 130ºF temperatures, and be prepared to drive (a lot), there is a whole new world, with photographic opportunities around every corner.
This year I’ve paid homage to the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and Death Valley in California. Antelope Canyon is one of those wonders that nobody knew about 20 years ago. Tucked away in Navajo Nation, this canyon, carved by water over millions of years, has an almost supernatural feel to it. You can’t help but stand in awe, as the sun casts purple and red hues throughout its sandstone slots. This is definitely where the natives prayed, long before the New World was discovered. Today, you’ll find more photographers here than anywhere else on earth (okay, maybe except at the Oscars). There is a thousand perspectives, ranging from patterns and shapes, to complex colors and shades. Definitely worth visiting again (though this time, perhaps in the off-season).
The first photo is of the Horseshoe Bend, near Page, Arizona. For anyone passing through, this is a must. The photo doesn’t sufficiently capture the size of the canyon, carved by the Colorado River, which ultimately flows through the Grand Canyon. Slips and falls are common, and there’s no guardrail. You have to lay on your stomach, and hang over the cliff to get a viewpoint such as this. It’s a thrill.
The last two photos were taken in Death Valley National Park. The first of the two is my favorite. Many people think it’s snow. It’s salt in fact. Crystalized rock hard, it’s like walking on needles (best leave your flip-flops at home for this one). You have to venture about a mile from the road to get to these mesmerizing formations. Even at sunset, the temperatures hover around 130°F, and there’s not a soul (or sound) around. Not even a breeze. You feel like you’ve landed on the moon.
Please enjoy these images, and I hope you welcome a little departure from our usual portraiture!