The exact location of the “Windstone Arch,” made famous by photographer David Muench, remained hidden for years. I found on a recent visit to Valley of Fire State Park, NV, even with GPS coordinates and pictures marking the location found on the internet, this arch is still extremely difficult to find. More surprising, after admiring Muench’s image for years, is this beautiful arch’s size (maybe 18 inches), position (located in a cavern barely large enough to fit a tripod), and location (50 yards off a scenic drive). I did find the arch, I did photograph the arch, but for the full impact of this beautiful image see David Muench Windstone: Natural Arches, Bridges, and Other Openings.
After locating and photographing the Windstone Arch, I spent much of the rest of the morning with my head and camera in other openings in the Aztec Sandstone that covers much of this park in hopes of capturing my own version. The options were numerous and varied. I found myself searching for combinations of indirect light that provided for the saturated color in the sandstone, flowing lines, abstract shapes, and shadows to emphasize the shapes. Like the Windstone Arch, the images below are of small surprises hidden in the and among the larger sandstone formations. Happy Hunting!