By Nathalie Bonney

THESE shots may look like alien landscapes - but they were actually taken in the deserts of south-western USA

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Taken in Whitepocket Arizona, Clapp captures a stunning otherworldly looking rock formation

The remote, barren and breathtakingly beautiful images were taken by Devon-based photographer David Clapp.

Stunning dusk view of wind carved sandstone shapes in White Pocket

He visited Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico to collect material for a photographic series on otherworldly locations across the world.

The 45-year-old said: “These places contain some of the most unusual rock formations, playas and clay formations, which form into an otherworldly landscape – especially at night time when stars and the Milky Way turn them into galactic, interplanetary images.”

Clapp wants viewers to imagine they are visiting another planet when they look at his pictures

The photographer hopes those looking at the pictures will themselves feel transported to another planet.

“People looking at these pictures can feel as though they are explorers, scientists or astronauts on an exploratory space mission,” he said.

David shoots an incredible night time image of sandstone formations with the Milky Way in Coyote Buttes

"Imagery can be so powerful when it excites our imaginations.”

Rather than shoot the deserts in a naturalistic way, David wanted to amplify their alien qualities.

From Bisti Badlands to the Valley of Fire, David hopes the images capture the beauty of the South West American deserts

He said: “I used a specially modified infrared camera to capture a lot of the light images. It operates in a different light frequency, which brings out rather strange-looking pictures with red tinges and odd lighting.

“I nearly forgot the camera before I left England and in the end was so thankful I packed it.” 

Soft white sand dunes in pink dusk light look almost unreal in White Sand National Monument

The scale of the deserts meant David had to endure long days trekking to and from different locations.

He said:  “Lots of locations took significant driving and then needed scouting out so I was walking many miles every day. 

Clapp captures the magnificent colours of the inside of Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona
David hopes his images will allow viewers to realise that they too can visit these stunning locations

"Positions were GPS logged and a return was made with heavy camera gear.

“It was easy to become disorientated, so careful planning was essential. Then upon return a tent had to be put up, a meal cooked and finally some sleep.”

Eerie looking sandstone formations in Coyote Buttes South, Arizona
Lower Antelope Slot Canyon is one of the most exquisitely photographed attractions in the world

And among all the challenges presented by the desert, sleeping in sub zero temperatures proved to be David’s ‘hardest problem’. 

“Daytime temperatures were around 20 celsius but at night usually between 3 and 5am they would plummet to -3-5 celsius,” he added.

David amplified the desert's alien qualities by using specific camera techniques

"I would begin sleeping in a warm sleeping bag and t-shirt and end up wearing a down jacket and most of my clothes.”

From Bisti Badlands to the Valley of Fire, David hopes the images capture the beauty and variety of the South West American deserts.

“They unveil the incredible alien landscape, a geographical odyssey with such unimaginable beauty and diversity,” he said. 

"Many do not even know that such places exist on this planet.”