I decided to feature a photo shoot for each month to share. If I could I would shoot everyday of my life. Being outdoors in nature is my motivation for capturing beautiful moments and scenes in an image. I could sit out on a desert dune waiting for the supreme moon rise, rest in a deep dark forest until the first morning light appears through the pines or lie on the coast of a sea and wait to capture that stunning crashing wave with the perfect sun beam that passes through it for hours and be perfectly content. I adore photographing people best in this element. The outdoors is my favorite backdrop for shooting artistic and unique portraits.
I decided I will narrow down my favorite shoots each month or so and then feature just one to display here on my website for those that are interested in viewing the work I create. Maybe I can inspire, help others to create or just bring a little joy to someone's life by sharing my own love for nature and photography. I love the World Wide Web and this modern world where we can share our own experiences for anyone who is interested.
For May I narrowed down a shoot I did with a wonderful and vivacious model, Alyssa. We worked in and around the western side of the Las Vegas, Nevada area which is where I currently reside. This area of the valley is only 17 miles west of the very famous and busy Las Vegas strip. This area has some of the most scenic vistas and terrain of the Mojave Desert. Alyssa and I started off shooting in a canyon in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. A favorite place of mine to shoot with the early morning sunlight.
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was Nevada's first National Conservation area in the state. The light in the morning is spectacular with views of dramatic rock and sandstone formations that reach up to 3000 feet. The plant life is really spectacular in the spring with wild flowers and cactus of various varieties which are abundant in this rustic landscape. These are only a few of the many reasons why I love to shoot out in this area. Alyssa fit perfectly in this amazing setting.
When I work with models I love to not only get close up portraits of their individuality but the scenic unique views we are working in as well as you can see here. My favorite style of creating images with models is incorporating them into the natural landscape or terrain we are working in. The Las Vegas area has some of the most amazing natural landscapes of anywhere around.
When photographing people I have noticed over the years that the natural light the outdoors has to offer can be tricky at times but if you get the right conditions I believe the models look their best with the natural ambient and direct light from the sky. Skin tones and tonal quality seems to translate well in the outdoors. I know many photographers may disagree with me here, but with the way I shoot and style of post editing I do, the natural outdoor light brings out the best for the entire look of an image and model.
Alyssa loved climbing up in the rock formations of this area of Red Rock and I loved taking advantage of the wonderful carved out holes in the eroded slabs of earth. One can only imagine what it was like 500 million years ago when this entire basin was the bottom of an ocean floor. The many colors and textures in these rocks tell so many stories.
As Alyssa sits comfortably here in this wash, it is hard to believe dinosaurs once roamed this area. The tracks of small dinosaurs have been discovered in the Sandstone at Red Rock in three different areas. The wash she is in is dry here on the day we shot but when a rain comes over the mountain range, this dry wash quickly becomes a very fast moving river that can be very dangerous. Sometimes they have to close the entire park due to the flash floods and fast moving water. This happened to me once while I was there and had to wait at the visitor center until the rain and raging water dissipated. It was actually one of the most beautiful sites I have seen out in this area. The red rock Aztec Sandstone had numerous waterfalls running off the tall steep slopes. Really breathtaking. Alyssa and I were safe from flash floods this day.