Red Rock Canyon, CA (Southern)

Well a week ago I went to Red Rock Canyon, just north Of Los Angeles, CA. It was a Sierra Club Camera Committee trip. Left work early, and got there before sundown. It was trying to rain, even though Red Rock is High Desert Country.

The next morning I got up at 5:45 and with one other person in the group walked over out of camp, to see about getting the sunrise on camera. We ended up on a slight rise and could see both the rising sun and the cliffs over camp.

Sunrise after the storm

sunrise with clouds
A little later in the sunrise

Set up on a tripod, I was able to shoot in several directions getting the pink of sunrise and the sunrise itself. I shoot on manual, and the sunrise shot was several stops under exposed to bring out the colors in the clouds. I adjusted the exposure a little in Photoshop but otherwise it’s as shot. The pink rocks at sunrise shot is as shot.

The pink of sunrise on the red rocks.

Later after breakfast we went into Hagen Canyon. Here we saw lots of places that were used in movies. Also some famous shots like the Ed Weston cliffs. Here I give you two views 1. black and white and 1 color

black and white shot of Weston Cliffs

Weston Cliffs in black and white.

Weston Cliffs in colors

Weston Cliffs showing red rock colors

close up of yellow wildflower
Rare Wildflower in the Red Rock Canyon. Bob Cates had this to say:
“Hemizonia desertii (the Red Rock Canyon Tarplant).

Later in the evening sun we went out again this time to Camel Rock and Temple of Heliopolis.

well known rock formation called Camel Rock

Camel Rock

colorful clouds with cliffs in the foreground
Colorful clouds with sandstone cliffs in the foreground

We also shot the fading sky with some joshua trees. Here is a good example of waiting a few minutes for the light to change and make for a different feel to the photograph.

Joshua Trees with clouds in the background

Joshua trees with clouds in the background

Joshua trees with dark clouds in background

Joshua trees with dark clouds at sunset.

Here are a couple of shots to share that I will post again later in a post about night and low light shooting. Notice that in the campfire shot I also got the stars in the sky over the top of the cliffs above the fire. The other shot is of the stars and is a 5 minute exposure at ISO 400.

camp shot by campfire light

Camp by firelight. Note the stars above the fire.

image of stars in dark sky

Stars over Red Rock Canyon.

Sunday we hiked up Nightmare Canyon, again vistas of red rocks red rock cliffs and lots of boulders.

close up of a boulder showing the smaller rocks inside it.

Close Up of a boulder, showing the smaller rocks in it.

sculptured cliffs with surreal clouds in background
Clouds in the background and sculptured cliffs make for a surreal scene.

Here is a interesting shot, it’s looking straight up at erosion channel in the cliff. Noticed the layering.

image of erosion in rocks, looking straight up.

Erosion in the rock cliff shows the layers.

Well that’s about all for now. As I learn more about posting and get better at this I will open up the RAW files and post the meta data of the photos as well. If any one want that info one a photo post the question and I’ll get the meta data.

All in all I took about 265 photos and this is what I consider the best of them. Most photos by other people can be seen at the Meetup,com Sierra Club Camera Committee Red Rock trip posting, found here:

There are a lot of good photographers in the Sierra Club Camera Committee.


Hello world!

Welcome, Yes this is a new blog. On it I hope to post comments from myself (Peter) and my brother Paul. I will also post photos by the family here too. My son Ben is doing a little photography now and my dad goes on vacation trips and shoots photos all the time. (not great but maybe interesting just the same) Sharing photos and experience is what this is all about. I did black and white film for years, since 16 years old and had used equipment to use so I know it doesn’t take expensive equipment to take good photos. I was photo editor/darkroom tech at Plumas County’s Feather Publishing Co. for 9 years. I’ve seen a lot of photos and had to judge them crop them and tinker in the darkroom and later on computer in early Photoshop do post-processing as I worked with the digital world at the newspaper. I was there to bring the newspaper into the digital age. Then I walked away fro m photography for the most part for about 10 years so I’m kind of new to digital cameras but Use manual setting a lot so I know how to get a photograph. My brother will tell you about himself but he has also pursued photography over the years and has experience to share.

On the other note of my photography, I belong to a couple of groups and will share lessons learned and photos from this too. One group is the Sierra Club Camera Committee so expect landscapes, another is Night Photography, so I will share some strange lights shots and discuss how to shoot low light shots. I have enjoyed shooting night shots and while color is different and new to me, getting the shot isn’t. I’ll post some laser light show shots from last July 4th to show that it is possible to get great interesting shots with very low lights.

I hope to keep things interesting and link to other sites that have interesting content.

Peter Vanderhoof