Posts

Racetrack – Death Valley

Night photography at Devil's Racetrack playa, Death Valley national park, California

5 minute self portrait on a cold night under a nearly full moon out on the playa at the Devil’s Racetrack in Death Valley national park, California.   I took two seperate 5 minute exposures with the Nikon 24mm tilt-shift lens to get the ‘square’ format.  One upper, one lower.  No tricky Photoshop needed.

I had my stopwatch going to measure the exposure but since I was afraid to move my arm and risk putting it back in a slightly different location I had to count in my head as best I could. When I got to 5 minutes in my head I took a peak at my watch, 4:57, and quickly ran back to the camera.  Pretty good internal clock. I could have left the scene earlier, but some ghosting would have occurred as I was gone a greater percentage of the overall exposure, so I wanted to remain as close to the full 5 minutes as possible.

The Racetrack is better know for the ‘moving rock.’  Unfortunately, that section of the normally dry lake bed actually had some water, so I couldn’t go there as footprints last a long time out there…

Alabama Hills and Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Alabama Hills are one of my favorite places here in California and a usual stop anytime I head to the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Normally I avoid the area during summer as the temperature is often well above my level of tolerance,  But I decided to check things out anyhow.  On the way up as I was crossing the Antelope Valley before entering the high desert area, I knew I would be in trouble from the heat.  I guess after too much time in Northern Europe, I had forgotten that I really don’t enjoy myself in 100˚ (37˚c) temperatures (yes, I’m spoiled living on the coast).  Turning off in Lone Pine during the late afternoon I headed straight through the Alabama hills and up to the 8,000 (2500m) foot coolness of the Whitney Portal to get a bit of an escape from the heat.  The light was pretty bad anyhow, so I sat around up there and got eaten by mosquitoes for an hour or two.

I have a couple favorite places to camp, but since there is so much to see, I usually do a little exploring to see if I can’t find some cool new place.  The whole area is open for wild camping, so I like to look for a spot where I can roll out the back of my truck at dawn, walk about 10 feet or crawl up some rock and start shooting.  Sure beats having to drive anywhere!

Alabama HIlls, Owen's valley, California

Panoramic landscape stock photography: Alabama Hills, Owen's valley, California

Night panoramic landscape photography Nikon d700 85mm tilt-shift lens: Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

The sunset was actually one of the boring-er ones that I’ve witnessed, but what can you do.  Took a few night photos, but a pretty good wind picked up around sundown which was blowing a lot of dust around.  So after a five minute photo, I’d have to clean everything off again.

NIght photography Nikon d700: star trails over rock formations, Alabama Hills, California

Dawn broke to a perfectly clear sky, again, nothing spectacular.  Better weather for climbing than photography.

Tilt-Shift panoramic landscape photography: Sierra Nevada mountains, California

Lone Pine peak in the center of the photo, with Mount Whitney (14,505 feet – 4,421m, highest mountain in California and lower 48) on the very right of the photo in the pre-dawn light.

Landscape stock photography: Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills, Owen's Valley, California

Mobius Arch, one of the more famous icons in the area.

Alabama Hills and Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lone Pine, California

By 7:00 am it was already getting hot and the light hazy and washed out.  So I decided to some place higher and cooler for the day…

Clear Night at Milford Sound

Night photography: Clear night sky over Milford sound, New Zealand

A cloudless sky is a pretty rare sight at Milford Sound, a place with an average of 6.8 meters – 22 feet of rain per year.

Old photo from March 2006.  June Gloom has been in full effect these last weeks here in Santa Barbara and I haven’t been out shooting much lately.  I figure I’ll just post some old stuff that has never seen the light of day before…

Arctic Nights

Just walked in the door after 24 hours of travel.  Been up in the Lofoten islands for the last week.  More photos coming tomorrow and the next days.  But for a quick teaser of things to come: snow, snow, a bit more snow, and maybe some snow…

Northern lights over lofoten islands, Norway. Cody Duncan photography