Death Valley 2020

Early in March, along with a group of my camera club friends, I visited Death Valley National Park. Rather than give a detailed account of our trip, I thought I would share a few of my favorite photos along with some comments on each one.

We had hoped for a sunrise that would light up the distant hills in this photo taken along 20 Mule Team Road. The conditions we hoped for didn’t materialize but I still like the S-curve in the road leading into the image.

What caught my eye in this scene was how the wooden sidewalk leads through the textured foreground towards the light-colored hills which in turn contrast with the darker mountains in the distance.

We arrived at Dante’s View just before sunrise on a cold, blustery morning. One side of the parking lot faced towards the rising sun. Just at sunrise the sky burst into an incredible blaze of red. Unfortunately I couldn’t quickly find a composition that would include an interesting foreground against the red sky, and a photo of just a red sky isn’t all that interesting. So I turned my attention to the opposite direction overlooking Badwater Basin. As the sun started to light up the mountain tops, I found a composition that I liked. While the sun continued to rise in the sky I was captivated by the way it was lighting up a patch at the far end of Badwater Basin. The patch of light continued to grow more intense before it started to fade again. In this image I hoped to convey the cold of the morning with the warmth of the sun spotlighting parts of the Basin.

Well before sunrise our group was plodding through the soft sand of the Mesquite Dunes. Wind overnight has obliterated all the footprints and left the dunes in pristine condition. As the sun started to rise it created gorgeous patches of light on the dunes as well as emphasizing the texture in the ripples in the sand. I love shooting images of sand dunes; unfortunately I don’t often get the chance to do so.

Late afternoon found us at Zabriskie Point. Although the setting sun was heavily covered over by cloud, it still managed to illuminate the cliffs along the right of this image. I absolutely love the rich reds and golds that came to life as the warm, late afternoon sun hit the rock.

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