The textures and colors of the Rainbow Valley in Arizona
The Rainbow Valley in Arizona is an unknown place. Its hills of rough textures and bright shades are wonderful.
Its colors result from repeated volcanic eruptions that occurred more than five million years ago. Ash and minerals covered the landscape and were chemically altered by heat and water. Today they continue to change because of rain, sunlight, and the time of day.
When I started walking, the brownish desert landscape did not anticipate what I would find. But this pathway had surprises for me. Among the geological layers, I found bright turquoise rock veins contrasting with the dark rocks around them.
I enjoyed the winter light shining through the golden bushes and watching the small cacti and the thorny plants that grew out of the sand.
When we reached the multicolored hills, I photographed them from different angles, and I was so surprised when I realized that the cell phone cameras couldn’t catch the colors. My children were frustrated because they couldn’t reproduce what they were seeing.
The pictures all looked pale and desaturated. I decided to give it a try with my iPhone 12, I always set it in RAW, but I had the same problem. The images already came out of the camera with some adjustments. And I guess the sensor or the software tends to “standardize “what it is in front of the lens, and these hills were everything but “standard.”
I had no problems with my DSLR cameras because shooting in RAW allows me to find the colors when I process them, especially when they are still fresh in my memory. I do want to carry my watercolor palette to reproduce the real colors on the spot, especially when they are so weird.
I wanted to examine these mountains closely. The parched land has retained its brilliant colors through time, the scant rains, and the floods covering the valley yearly. Getting close allowed me to see how the color and textures were mixed.
Discovering this place was quite an odyssey. You can read the story of how I got there by following this link: