Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sun, Sand, No Sea

The journey to Death Valley from the Bay Area runs around 500 miles and takes something like 9 hours (with breaks). We headed off after 9 am and arrived at the hotel around 5:45 pm. As mentioned yesterday, we took route 223 eastwards from I5 in order to take in the building wildflower display in the rolling hills outside of Arvin. S got some good pictures on that road both on the way there and back, but I have to admit defeat in shooting flowers, regardless of the conditions. However, plenty of others were stopped along the roadside happily clicking away so I'm in the minority.

Upon arrival we went out and had a look at Badwater for a sunset location. Nothing spectacular, but a good scouting exercise for what/where/when to shoot over the coming days.

Next morning, I got up early and headed off to shoot the Mesquite Dunes at sunrise. It was very windy at the hotel but thankfully much calmer over at the dune site and glad to say they have now built a new car park alongside the road to Stovepipe Wells. However, there is a downside to making the location more obvious - it was quite crowded. There was a complete party of photographers already up on the dunes, as well as numerous solo shooters. Hmm, had to rethink plans to try and find some clear space to work in. Headed south round the dunes themselves (much easier way to go) and then headed inland. Had to hustle a bit as the sun was rising fast and I was already a bit late. I found a reasonable location and was rewarded with some beautiful light with which to attack the challenge of photographing big hills of sand!

Overall, a fun morning and glad I was still able to find things to shoot without having to spend ages afterwards in Photoshop deleting random bodies from the vistas. Example result shown above.

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