So one of the most novel rock formations in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is Elephant Rock – to the extent it’s featured in a line drawing on the front of the park brochure (pdf). Elephant Rock is plainly visible from Route 169, a couple of miles or so east of the Clark Memorialnear the eastern entrance to the park. As I recall, there’s no pull-off on the road and there’s a hill and blind curve so park by the East Entrance Station and walk the quarter-mile or so. There’s a relatively easy trail you can take as well if you don’t want to walk along the edge of the highway.
The Elephant is formed by the way the red Aztec Sandstone has weathered over the years – attacked by scouring sand blowing in the wind to freeze-thaw cycles where moisture trapped in the crevices expands as it freezes, expanding the crevice.
So what do you do when you have lousy light? This photo was taken at about 3:00 pm late one March. In the original color version, the hazy sky is a murky gray color. There are two alternatives. One is to mask in a good sky from another photo and the other is to go the black-and-white route as I have here. There are innumerable ways of producing a black-and-white image but my present favorite is Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.