Last Friday, after stopping at the Antelope Valley to photograph poppies, I drove down the 14 freeway to Vasquez Rocks County Park near Santa Clarita. I’ve always wanted to visit this park, but its always been slightly out of my way. I’m glad I stopped.
Vasquez Rocks was set aside, in part, because of its unique geology; the rocks were uplifted as a result of activity in the Elkhorn Fault (an offshoot of the San Andreas fault), and with time the erosion of sand away from the sandstone left rocks that jut out of the ground at very picturesque angles. The sandstone has a variety of mineral deposits, giving it unique colors. In addition, I found a rich lichen diversity, and enjoyed taking detailed shots of it.
In addition, Vasquez Rocks’ proximity to Los Angeles has made it a popular filming location for several movies and TV shows, including Star Trek, Zorro, and MacGyver. Because I visited in midday, I wanted to focus primarily on intimate compositions (like the lichen above) or contrasty black and white shots; fortunately the clouds were on my side in providing an interesting sky.
In addition to the great scenery, the upside of stopping here is that the rocks didn’t move in the wind!