Red Rock Canyon

Last month I had a photo assignment in Las Vegas. After the job was done, I skipped the casinos and took a quick drive out to Red Rock Canyon.

The canyon is a must see if you have 1/2 a day of free time when visiting Vegas. It features a 13 mile scenic drive, great trails and awesome views. The best time to visit is early spring or late fall for mild hiking weather.

Red Rock is absolutely beautiful.  But on this trip, it was difficult to photograph. Smoke from the wildfires in Yosemite (400 miles away) hung over the canyon and Clark County like a white blanket. It made it impossible to get crisp details of the distant mountain ranges.

I ended up making this excursion an exercise in seeing and composing photographs. I limited myself to using only one camera / one lens (a Canon 5DsR and the 35mm f/1.4 L II). Zoom lenses are convenient, but they make us visually lazy. With a fixed lens, you have to force yourself to fill your frame with everything that’s important, and leave out the rest. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the results!

The little car that could! Thank goodness for my Hyundai rental with cold AC. It was 127F in some parts of the canyon. Summer HEAT!