Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona hosts some of the most unique landscapes on the planet, from the red iron oxide cliffs of its namesake, to the Jurassic-era petrified sandstone of White Pocket. This area features what some have described as “brain rocks” and “cauliflower rocks,” possibly formed through earthquakes after the landscape was lithified from sand into rock. White Pocket sees very few visitors, due to an hour-long drive by strenuous sand roads often impassable due to rain and snow.
As the second part of a BBC Earth timelapse trilogy, our shoot consisted of two days and two nights of intense conditions, including high winds, thunderstorms, fog heavy rain, and other obstacles. Despite the adversity, the tempest broke and some incredible stars shone through to put on a show. Shot on Canon DSLR Cameras. Star trails created using rotation of earth’s axis and STARSTAX. Wide motion control cliffs shot achieved with Dynamic Pecrception Stage Zero Dolly.
Son Charles and his fiance’ Anisha at the “Wave” formation, Vermillian Cliffs, just south of the Utah border in Arizona. Only 20 permits to hike to the wave are issued daily. Ten by application, and it sometimes takes 6 months to get a permit or ten by lottery each day in the Kenab, Arizona headquarters. It is a desert environment, and is reached by a 3 mile hike either from Arizona or Utah. As the desert temperatures can reach 106 degrees F and there are no defined trails to the Wave, they chose to use an experienced guide. There have been fatalities reaching the Wave, including 3 in one month in 2013.