In a helicopter for the third time in my life and flying over the Hoover Dam. I had toured it before and been in Eric's boat catching catfish in the green waters behind it, but to see it from above was spectacular! You realize the sheer power of the dam holding back that much water and how difficult it must have been to build it.
I loved the cracks and crevasses of the dried up landscape from above. You could almost imagine it when there was water there, but now it looked like a scene from outer space. I was sort of obsessed with these cracks that you don't notice or see when you are driving.
Entering the Grand Canyon via helicopter. The desert starts taking shape and the cracks get deeper and deeper.
Flying over Lake Mead was surreal. The colors turn from a royal blue to a rich green, emerald hue. It is hard to imagine these colors exist in nature, let alone in the desert 30 minutes from Las Vegas.
I LOVE this shot, because it took this river millions of years to carve out this canyon and it must have been huge and raging years ago. I love trying to imagine how rocks and mountains were formed and what they must have looked like millions of years ago. This same desert was the bottom of the ocean at one time and this entire Colorado plateau was pushed up by plates colliding. Crazy
Landing on the edge of the Grand Canyon in our fleet of helicopters. We were served champagne and lunch and could literally sit on the edge of the cliff. It was so red and majestic...and quiet. After the helicopters turned off, it was just us and some crows. You could spend hours out there just trying to take it all in.
The river becomes the same red color as the rocks, picking up sediment along the way. We had just flown over this same river watching it turn from royal blue, to emerald green to now brick red...amazing.
I had put my polarizer filter on to bring out the red and blues of this photo. There was not one cloud in the sky though.
Laying on the edge of the Grand Canyon. I was afraid to look over the edge!
Back in the helicopter flying out of the canyon...finally some puffy clouds! It was difficult not getting a glare from the window in my shot.
We were zigzagging out of the canyon at this point and it looked as though we were going to clip the cliffs with our helicopter at times....it was exhilarating to view the canyon like this. I had hiked the Grand Canyon in one day on my 22nd birthday, but even then it was not this intense of an experience.
Flying out of the canyon and joining the flat valley of the desert again. It's like the land swallowed up the canyon and it didn't exist anymore.
We stopped for fuel in the middle of nowhere in the scorching hot desert and I spotted these gorgeous flowers on a cactus. Again I was amazed at the colors you can find in nature, especially out in the arid, brown, dry desert.
Our stop for refueling in the middle of the desert. I have no idea what this pose is, but i felt superhuman here and free and full of life! Flying through the Grand Canyon was beyond words and spiritual for me.
I love how the layers of the desert and the different shadows of clouds on the landscape create the appearance of colors ranging from yellow to purple. It is all an optical illusion from the clouds, but it is stunning and makes the desert look painted.
Flying back over Lake Mead again, but this time we are about to fly directly over the lake.
The layers and crack and designs that the earth makes were really intriguing to me. I love the repetition of lines, shadows and colors.
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE photo from the trip! I was SHOCKED at the vibrant colors of Lake Mead from the air. I have no idea what makes the "fingers" of the lake appear as bright green, but I have boated on this same lake and never saw the colors from the ground in this way. I am not sure if it is algae or what, but the contrast between the yellows, greens and blues, made it look like huge flames were flickering into the lake. We also saw a herd of wild mustangs, 4 of them, on the edges of the lake right around this point and the whole scene was so surreal!
Here is a more abstract view of the green "flames" I wanted to frame the shot in a way where you didn't really have any perspective as to what it was or where. I would have NEVER looked at this photo and known it was Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas.
The lake turns a dark royal blue again from the air and the landscape starts to flatten out again. It was like we were covering up these "jewels" with the desert again..so strange.
Flying back into Las Vegas there is one final "terrace". I think it's a National Park, but it is severe looking in the otherwise flat landscape of the desert. It is a sharp point that looks peeled away and reveals bright red soil and it is striking.
My final image from the trip. I used my polarizer filter to bring in the clouds and blue sky which really showed the red soil in contrast. I do not normally shoot landscapes or feel inspired to, but the colors and designs that I saw from the air on this trip were stunning! I loved the contrast of the shadows from the crevasses in the Earth and the deeps gashes and vibrant colored water...it was truly spectacular and EVERYONE should see the desert from above I feel. It will completely change your opinion about it