Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire

Don’t get me wrong… I love the beach and I love taking its picture.

But I’ve been wanting to shoot something “different” for some time now.

A few weeks ago, my buddy went to this place called Valley of Fire. It’s in Nevada, about an hour and half Northeast of Las Vegas.

“That looks rad,” I thought to myself.

It was exactly what I was needing. And after being chained to my desk for a bit lately, I needed it now!

So literally, out of nowhere, I asked him if he was down for taking a trip. He was. Yay! The next day, I picked him up and we headed out there.

It was hot! Ugh…

And we walked a lot.

Fortunately, I was able to–even in the 105+ heat! Wow, I drank a lot of water. Why do I add this part to the story…? Because I haven’t been in a desert like this in years and I probably would’ve been dead had I not been working on myself for a bit. It can really be tough on people if they’re not prepared for a trip like this. You people who hike this stuff all the time: amazing and good for you, total respect!

So I learned a new trick on YouTube before heading out. (And frankly, I’m a little embarrassed that I never knew this before.) It’s called “Focus Stacking”. Basically, you set up the camera on a tripod and take a few pictures––without moving the camera––and focus on a few different areas in the scene so that the whole shot is in focus.

How have I never known this before?

But that wasn’t enough for me… I was like, “Hmm… I wonder if I can do HDR and Focus Stack my pics.”

Challenge accepted!

So these are the only pics … out of a lot … that I liked after screwing up a lot from trying out the new technique. I didn’t exactly nail the focus stacking, but I learned a lot. I felt both good about these and sad about the misfires.

But here’s the thing… For me, at least… I got out of my comfort zone and went for it!

And I’m so glad that I did.

Not only did I get some nice pics, but I also got to hang out with my good friend and he and I had some great conversation along the way. Plus, I got to see some great rock formations, got in some challenging exercise, and had a chance to be somewhere different for just a few days. ( 😷 … Yes, some social distancing and responsibility may or may not have occurred. 🤣 )

My lesson from the experience?

“Rick, don’t let your world define you. You define it!”

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Valley of Fire

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Rick Martin

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