Posts

Badwater Dawn – Death Valley

Badwater basin, Death Valley national park, Californai

Winter sunrise over Badwater basin and Panamint mountains, Death Valley national park, California.

This light lasted 3 minutes before the color faded into a washed out and overcast day.  At 6am I counted 19 other photographers within sight.  Quite the popular place to be on that morning.  The next morning however, I only saw 3 other photographers.  Though it was raining so maybe that scared all the others away…

Footprints Everywhere! Wanderings Among the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes – Death Valley

Panoramic landscape photo - Mesquite flat sand dunes, Death Valley, California

Mesquite Flat sand dunes, Death Valley national park, California.

It was a frustrating exercise in futility wandering among the dunes, in search of the Dune that I had in my mind.  The Dune with that perfectly sculpted ridge, gently rounded and allowing the late afternoon shadows to gently fall across.  The untouched patterns of a thousand years of wind blown into the sand, like a sea of snakes racing into the distance.  The Dune, rising alone into the sky above all others, casting ever growing shadows as the sun determines the day has been long enough.

Judging by the amount of footprints, half the world must also be searching for that perfect dune.  I wandered for miles and hours.  In straight lines, circles, and zigzags.  To the tops of the highest dunes and into the lowest valleys.  North, south, east, west, and at one point, clear across the whole of the dunes.  My water bottle empty, mouth dry, I still wandered.  And everywhere, footprints!

It’s mostly my fault though.  The Mesquite dunes are right on the side of the road in a fairly popular national park, so what should I expect other than that lots of people walk among them. If  I was in some middle of nowhere place in north Africa and experienced the same, then I would be a bit more frustrated.  And winter is the best time in Death Valley as the temperatures are tolerable.  This year especially, with higher than average rain has probably drawn more people to the park to see the normally dry lakes not dry.

California landscape photography - Mesquite flat sand dunes, Death Valley national park

Panoramic landscape photo - Mesquite flat sand dunes, Death Valley, California

California travel photographer Cody Duncan - Self portrait on sand dunes in Death Valley

Badwater Rain – Death Valley

panoramic landscape photography - Rainclouds over Badwater Basin, Death Valley, California. February 27, 2010

A stormy morning at Badwater basin in Death Valley national park, California.  At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater is the lowest place in the North America.  Normally the lake bed is bone dry with 1.9 inches of average annual rainfall in the valley, but this year has been an above average rain year so there is a fair bid of water flooding the basin at the moment.  In this photo though it actually looks dry due to the fact that the wind was quite strong and litterally ‘pushed’ the water away, while on the previous day this area had been submerged.

Two Vertically shifted photos from Nikon 24mm tilt-shift lends for the vertical panorama.