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Monochrome Madness: MM 197

Water is the planet’s most precious resource, especially here in the desert.  Last month we finally had a day of rain that put an end to a string of 116 days without measurable rain at the official weather gauge in Las Vegas.  The previous rainfall was a trace…..enough to wet the pavement, but not enough for the insects or birds to get a drink.  Go back another five days to when there were numbers on the rain gauge.  That’s 121 days.  One third of a year.  At a time of year that is supposed to be the wettest.  Similar stats have taken place throughout the southwest.

As each month draws to a close, it seems the news people tell us how it was the hottest (January, February, March, etc.) on record, or at least a top five.  In 2017, the temperature never dropped below freezing, which has never happened here before.  The doubters of global warming will tell you it’s because we are adding more concrete, thus raising temperatures where the official readings are taken.  I assure you, no one is building near our airport.  Even more remote places are showing elevated average readings.

The photo above is from a previous winter, and is from a lesser-known part of Red Rock Canyon, west of Las Vegas.  It’s probably a good thing that there is not a marked trail to get here.  This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit Leanne’s website.

WPC: Favorites

Back when I shot with a large-format view camera, I would certainly agree with Mr. Adams.  Now that I use a camera that can shoot hundreds of frames in a day, oddly enough, I still agree.

I spent time in Hawaii this summer, and I’m sure I have twelve photographs that I like from just the first couple days.  When I look at all of the images I have captured this year, and try to envision those which I will still cherish years from now, the process of choosing twelve became clearer.  My time in nature was limited this year, but I made those moments count.  In some situations I had similar lighting or compositions where I couldn’t really define one shot as a clear favorite, but in the end, I think I’m very happy with these 12.

I don’t own a drone, but I love taking photos from airplanes.  This photo from over White Sands, New Mexico looks amazing at full size, with all the dunes at the edge looking like bubbling foam.

aerial photography, desert, dunes, White Sands, New Mexico, Steve Bruno

My ‘backyard’ locations of Red Rock Canyon or Valley Of Fire didn’t see me as much as in years past, yet I had plenty of images which made the A list.

sunrise, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

rainwater pools, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, Steve Bruno

reflection, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, Steve Bruno

natural windows, sandstone, Valley Of Fire, Nevada, Steve Bruno

natural arch, desert, Valley Of Fire, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

A little further out, but still in Nevada, I captured many satisfactory images in a short time at Cathedral Gorge.  I had no trouble picking a favorite, however.

sunset, desert, Cathedral Gorge, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

Oregon was another place I spent some time last summer.  Although the trip was mainly for a family gathering, I had time afterwards to head to the trails in the Columbia River Gorge.

waterfalls, Oregon, Columbia River Gorge, Steve Bruno

As I mentioned earlier, Hawaii was part of my travels this year, and gave me many great photo opportunities.  My time on the lava fields at sunset certainly stands out as one of my favorite experiences, not just for this year, but for a lifetime.

 

Pacific Ocean, cliffs, Hawaiiold growth forest, Hawaii, trees, gottatakemorepixwaves, lava, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Steve Brunolava flow, Hawaii, sunset, gottatakemorepix

 

Monochrome Madness: MM4-30

I’ve had plenty of time in airplanes recently, and this is the view of the desert just east of here in the Arizona desert.  I have crossed this location several times, but never with this beautiful early morning light.

This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  Next week there will be a theme of Up In The Air.  My photo next week will not be another aerial view….this is just a teaser.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions on how to join in, visit Leanne’s website.

WPC: Peek

Earlier this year, I headed out to capture the sunrise at nearby Red Rock Canyon.  I knew a storm front was moving in, and after hiking to reach this spot, it looked as though it might be a day without photos.  Right at sunrise, the sun peeked through a tiny slice of an opening in the clouds.  This lasted for about a minute, and the not-so-distant cliffs in the background (which I had hoped to capture that morning) never fully saw the sun.

Monochrome Madness: MM4-25

My photo for this week’s Monochrome Madness comes from the closest forest to my home, on Mount Charleston.  Australian photographer Leanne Cole hosts this event, and at the start of every month there is a theme week.  In September, it was trees.  I had several images for that category, and this was one that I didn’t include back then.  My schedule became very hectic for a couple weeks, and I didn’t post my photo on my blog, even though you can see it on Leanne’s site.

Next week will be have the theme of in the open.  If you’d like to participate, you can find instructions here.

WPC: Structure

My final stop on last week’s long day trip was Cathedral Gorge State Park.  It has been a couple years since my last visit, and I wanted to see if my newer photography equipment could provide the results I wasn’t able to achieve previously in the higher contrast sunlight.  Occasional passing clouds provided the softer light which was optimum for some of the shooting situations.

Once an ancient lake, Cathedral Gorge is made up of mostly bentonite clay.  It is not a very large park, but its structure is quite photogenic with a multitude of opportunities.  Where the waters have cut deeper into the clay mesa, there are some very unique slot canyons, which the park labels “canyon caves”.  These are not for the claustrophobic individuals.  They do not travel far, but in many places are less than 2 feet wide, which requires some awkward stepping.

Much of the clay appears very solid and smoothly worn, but in one of these canyon caves, I found the texture to resemble dripping wax.  I patted the clay with my hand in several spots, returning a very hollow sound.  In this section, apparently, it was layer upon layer of “dripping wax”.

looking up from canyon in Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

abstract, detail, erosion, texture

WPC: Textures

I always try to find elements of texture for my photo subjects, so searching through photos with that theme in mind wasn’t so difficult.  One photo stood out for me because of its combination of textures.  From my muse, Valley Of Fire, is a photo that includes two distinct layers of sandstone, a sandy wash, and one of the most textured skies I’ve ever seen.

For this week’s Daily Post Challenge: Textures

WPC: Unusual

A solar eclipse will occur across much of the United States next month, but I will not be there to witness it.  I was in Oregon last week, where the eclipse will be cutting a path across the middle of the state.  While the occurrence of a total eclipse is very unusual, I’m not expecting this to look any different in photographs from previous ones.

Not very long ago, there were four Blood Moon eclipses in a relatively short period of time.  I photographed the first one within the city boundaries, but was most excited about the last one because it was happening shortly after the moon rose for the night, thus making it close to the horizon.  I had some locations in mind at the nearby Valley Of Fire State Park, as did several other photographers.  Sporadic cloud cover looked as though it might ruin our viewing out there, but as the eclipse was nearing totality, I think they actually helped my first photo as it was passing through an arch (above).  I had to find a different arch for the totality of the eclipse, and the clouds cooperated in the desert night.

For the Daily Post Challenge: Unusual

Blood Moon inside arch at VOF by Steve Bruno

WPC: Reflecting

A couple months ago, I returned to a favorite hike in Red Rock Canyon.  This particular canyon has water year-round, and I spent a fair amount of time around where a small channel of water was flowing ever so slowly across the boulders.

This is my image for this week’s Monochrome Madness on Leanne Cole’s website.  Since The Daily Post made the theme reflecting this week, I guess I’ll kill two birds with one stone.

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