Valley of Fire State Park totally blew me away. The scenery here rivals that of any national park that I’ve been to. I’m glad it isn’t a national park because that would just mean more tourists to ruin the experience. The cool thing is that it is only an hour from Las Vegas.
Windstone Arch was the one of the first things that I photographed at Valley of Fire as I found it by accident as it’s not listed in the park maps. I was driving around and happened to pull onto the side of the road to explore some of the small caves in the sandstone. After poking my head into a bunch of them as I walked around, I stumbled into Windstone Arch, of which the cave opening is probably no more than three feet high.
Though some other photographers have also photographed Windstone Arch in the past, the thing that I’m wondering is the publicity from posting photos of fragile places like this a good or bad thing? Historically, photography has been used as a vehicle for initiating environmental conservation efforts through legislation. But over the past 10 years or so, more and more people just do postcard photography without any concern for environmental conservation. Or the many general tourists who don’t even take pictures but end up causing a lot of stress on the environment as a result of their activities. The truth is that the increased visitation to our natural wonders has a lot to do with the proliferation of photography in today’s world.