Finding Rainbows in the Desert

Sometimes there are two rainbows!

Double Rainbow Over Rainbow Mountain

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The weather forecast for the weekend was scattered thunderstorms and showers off and on the whole time. Wanting to try and capture some of that weather I asked my son if he wanted to go watch the sun rise in Red Rock on a Saturday morning. He said, “Sure”!

We ventured out in a steady rain at about 5:15 from my house and this location is about a 20 minute drive. We parked the car and headed out in the rain!

It was cold and wet.

As the sky started to brighten we could see a few breaks in the clouds and fortunately the rain stopped after about 15 minutes. We did find one break in the clouds that was enough to show us a glimpse of color. The real show happened as the sun started to get warmer. The clouds started to lift, which led to an amazing light show!

Here’s an image of the morning light hitting the mountains.

Clouds over Rainbow Mountain

Here’s another panoramic image of the wispy clouds over the Spring Mountains:

Cloudy Rainbow Mountain

We were excited by this display and just as we were getting ready to head for home a rain shower appeared and provided an amazing rainbow you see in the first image of this post!

I was able to grab this iPhone Pano of the full rainbow here:

Red Rock Rainbow

More images from Red Rock can be found in the Red Rock Gallery

Spring in Valley of Fire

Spring Beauty at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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Valley of Fire is located approximately 40 miles North and East of Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, take the I-15 N towards Salt Lake City and take exit 75 and follow the signs.

I needed to get out watch the sunrise and my Son was game to get up at 3:30am on a Saturday morning to go wait for the sun! Sadly there wasn’t a cloud to be found for hundreds of miles, so we didn’t get to experience the skies lighting up. We did get to see some amazing rock formations under a very nice early morning glow!

Here are a few images from our trip!(If you prefer a Gallery View, check the Valley of Fire Gallery at my sister photo site; http://www.sandquistphotography.com/Collections/Southwest/Valley-of-Fire/i-9XFBfjT. Prints and downloads are available there too!)

Now to the images! This slightly reminds me a a sphinx. This is FireWave!

FireWave-Valley Of Fire

Another view for Firewave a few minutes after sunrise

Morning sun on FireWave

This is a view from Firewave to the north and west.. I think these look like ribbons

Red Ribbons
Loved the textures here!

VF Abstract

Sunstar

Cactus Bloom!

Cactus Bloom

Sand Dune Sunrise-Death Valley

Dune Glow

Click on Image for Print Purchase Options

As I mentioned in the SuperBloom Post, we took a day trip to Death valley recently.

We got to the parking lot at the Sand Dunes around 5:40am and the lot was 70% full already! I found my buddy Bernie’s car(we planned to meet up at the first Mesquite Sand Dune Parking lot before sunrise) and parked next to it… I wasn’t sure if he was already out on the dunes or not, but when I got out of my car I noticed Bernie woke up from a deep slumber in the front seat of his car. The sky was already starting to brighten..so we grabbed our gear and started out over the dunes… If you’ve never been to the dunes, they are massive and during the winter months there are foot prints everywhere. Foot traffic and sand dune photos don’t often mix well. Feeling a bit bummed that we were already a bit late(you can’t stop the sun from rising! :) ) to find some cool compositions without foot traffic I quickly realized I wasn’t going to find the perfect location. Instead I stopped and looked at what was right in front of me. This image was right in front of me.

Lesson here is to have some ideas of what you want to capture, but not be afraid to quickly change and just go with the flow!

Death Valley Super Bloom 2016

Wild Flower Super Bloom

According to media reports Death Valley National Park is having the best Wildflower Super Bloom in 10 years. Check the Death Valley report on the SuperBloom.

We made the just over 2 hour drive to meet friends at the Mesquite Sand Dunes to watch an incredible sunrise. We then spent the rest of the morning checking out the Super Bloom. Here are some images:

It was almost 90 degrees in Death Valley yesterday and the flowers are already starting to show distress, therefore if there isn’t more rain in the valley the flowers will disappear soon!

If you made it out this year, I’d love to see your images, so send me a link!

Who’s planning on heading out this year?

Wave Painting

Creating Memories Painting Waves on Jokulsarlon Ice Beach, and I do have prints available!

Just discovered this image as I had previously passed it over

Blue Ice

and worked on these other two images first:

Ice Swoosh

And this one which is a slightly different angle the first image posted:

Wave Painting on Ice Beach

Creating these images was fun, challenging, memorable and scary!

The trick is to find a chunk of ice in the wave zone, plant your tripod in the sand and set up the composition and wait for a wave to come rolling in! The challenge is that often those waves contain rocks, other chunks of ice or are larger than expected. You will have water over your boots! We had one wave that brought a wave that caught me mid-thigh. The rocks or ice can be large enough to break tripod legs or even real legs! So that is always in the back of your mind as the waves roll in.

The day the chunk was quite a distance from the normal surf and only the larger waves would reach this far, which gave us a bit of time to prepare. It was also raining sideways due to wind blowing over 30mph!

It was also memorable because I got to share this incredible place for the first time with some really great friends… Some that never imagined seeing such an amazing place and be able to photograph it!

I can’t wait to go back.. it’s a place keeps luring you back!

I have also updated my Photography Page price list and photo options. Check it out if interested! Click the Orange buy button below each image to find options.

Stormy Vestrahorn

Arrived at Vestrahorn just in the nick of time

Stormy Vestrahorn

There had been clouds, snow showers and heavy wind all day, but there had been breaks in the clouds, something we hadn’t seen in days! We spent the morning at the Ice Beach had a quick break for lamb soup at lunch and were on our way to Vestrahorn. It’s about an hour drive from the Hali Country Inn. When we arrived there were a few clouds dancing around the mountain range. The sun was starting to set over my right shoulder and many went off to photograph the setting sun. I had studied a few images of this location and knew I wanted to capture the brown wind blown grass on the black sand dunes… This image is one of my favorites. I was lucky to to initially settle in on this comp as 20 minutes later a snow squall blew in and left us with white out snow conditions…

Here’s an image take just 20 minutes later:

snow-vestrahorn

Deep inside an Ice Cave-Updated

Ice Caves of Vatnajokull Glacier
Inside Crystal Cave!

Loved this view from the depths of the Ice Cave! Click on the image to see a larger version!

Shooting conditions inside Ice Caves is quite challenging. The light, the blowing snow, the cold, and fellow photographers are some of the reasons.

This image was shot entirely inside the Ice Cave but it is a composite image of two scenes. Here’s the first image I captured of the hiker closer to the entrance:

j-icecave1
Inside an Ice Cave

I liked this image as the hiker definitely gave a sense of scale of the cave..

j-icecave12
Deeper in the Ice Cave

As we moved back into the cave we didn’t have any models at the front of the cave at this time. I liked this comp with the cone of snow that was growing by the minute pointing towards the entrance. I couldn’t have shot this model from this location as there were roughly 10 other photographers standing behind the snow cone! I also feel this is a good image without the hiker, but I feel it’s better with hiker…

So with a few handy Photoshop tools I combined the two images into one…

Thingvellir-Summer vs. Winter

Pingvellir National Park in Iceland.

It’s a short hour or so drive from Reykjavik. It’s the split in the basalt that separates Europe and North America. I visited the area during the summer of 2014 and captured this image. Europe is on the left and North America is on the right.

River Below Oxararfoss

I was also able to return to the location in the winter of 2016 and captured the same image as best I could remember, since it was covered in snow!

Snowy Pingvillir

The second trip allowed me to also capture my buddy that made his way to the top of the Basalt ridge. It’s a great place to visit anytime of the year!

Which do you prefer?

Skogafoss Winter

Skogafoss is a majestic waterfall in the South of Iceland and a must see at any time of year!

Skogafoss
Winter Skogafoss

I do recommend that you include a pair of Crampons or MicroSpikes if you plan on visiting any of the Iceland Waterfalls during the winter months.

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