This past week, I had the opportunity to head to southern California for my cousin’s wedding. After the wedding, I stuck around for a couple of days and drove up to Death Valley for some photography. I didn’t have a lot of time, just a day and a half, but tried to make the most of my limited time.
I drove up to the park on Sunday afternoon, and arrived in time to head out to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes for some evening shooting. Climbing over the dunes is exhausting, as every step slides in the soft, flowing sand, but after some time, I came to a good vantage point for the evening’s shooting. I stuck around for the stars to come out, and a half moon helped to illuminate the landscape. (As an aside, in the shot of the stars over the dunes below that is marked as a blend of two exposures, the shots were taken immediately after one another; a long exposure stopped down, then a shorter exposure wide open to capture the stars without movement.) After the long hike back to my car and the drive to my bed and breakfast for the evening, I went to bed and woke up early to make the sunrise at Zabriskie Point.
I hiked a short ways from the traditional view for the sunrise, and took several images before hiking into the badlands below for a few miles. Following that, I headed up to Dante’s View and then down to the low point and salt flats at Badwater. That was about all I had time or energy for on this quick visit, and had to drive back to get a flight out the next morning. Death Valley National Park is enormous, and I only got a chance to see a very small fraction of what is there. I’d love to be able to go back some time in the future and explore more thoroughly, and see some of the great locations in the north of the park. Those simply weren’t shooting options for me due to the length of time I had. Despite the short nature of the trip, I was quite pleased overall with the shots I did get.
Below is a selection of photos from the trip. Enjoy!