The final morning of the workshop was spent at Mesquite Dunes.
We arrived well before sunrise and hiked out about a half to three quarters
of a mile to a section of the dunes. We avoided the most popular section
with the largest/tallest of the dunes to avoid as many other photographers
as possible. We began setting up with the idea of photographing the
pre-sunrise and sunrise. After that we wandered on our own in search of
interesting compositions on the dunes. We spent about 2 hours on the dunes
session and then off to breakfast and final good-bys.
After a late morning and afternoon of classes and critiques we went a few
miles south of Furnace Creek to Golden Canyon. We began about an hour before
sunset and worked till about 30 minutes after sunset.
There still remains our final group outing Sunday morning.
We met at 5:00 am and had a very short 1.5 mile drive to Cotton Ball Basin.
This area, part of the large Salt Pan of Death Valley, is fed by few by
small underground springs. The Panamint Range is the mountain range to the
west in most of the pictures.
We walked about .5 to .75 miles from the road to the beginning of the salt
pan area. From there you could walk for several miles exploring for possible
subject matter. We began photographing before sunrise and spent about two
hours making pictures. This is an area I have never visited before and
certainly did not realize the potential the area offers. I will certainly be
back to photograph this area again.
Day four in Death Valley was long on travel and very short on photographic
We stopped at a large grove of Joshua Trees and at Ubehebe Crater on the
way back to Furnace Creek. These were mid morning and early afternoon stops.
We had a lesson and critique on some of our photographs before, during and
after dinner. Bed time about 11:00 pm and left for day 5 morning outing at 5:00 am so we would be ready to begin photographing at first light and
Our third day we had a late breakfast and headed on another lengthy dirt
road trip from Eureka Dunes towards The Race Track Playa and Grandstand.
This area is a dry lake bed. The sediment surface is very fine. When is
rains and the winds are very strong rocks that fallen from near by hills are
pushed along the playa leaving a track tracing their route of travel. The
track you see have been many years in the making. Unfortunately some people
feel the need to take the boulders/rocks home with then and there are a
great many tracks which no longer have the rocks at the terminus of the
track or trail. The third picture below shows the “Grandstand” This is a
rock formation at the northwest corner of the Racetrack. Every racetrack
needs a grandstand so natural forces gave us this grandstand.
On the way between Eureka Dunes and Racetrack we made brief stops at
Crank Shaft Gold Mine and tea Kettle Junction. Use your imagination and see
what you come up with. I will try to include a couple of pictures of these
locations in my next set of pictures.
After out sunrise photography at Furnace Creek and a late breakfast, we
packed up and headed out to the north east corner of Death Valley. Our goal
was to reach Eureka Valley Sand Dunes by med to late afternoon. We were
slowed down some by a flat tire. The group leaders were well prepared and
with a couple of cans of green goo sprayed into the tire and the use of a 12
volt compressor pump powered by the vehicle battery we were off again but
more slowly. The trip took over 4 hours with the vast majority off road on
challenging dirt roads. We photographed that afternoon till after sunset and
again after dinner till about 10:00 pm. We were up by 4:30 am and headed
out to the dunes to locate interesting spots to photograph in the pre
sunrise light till about 8:30 am. We hiked back into camp, had breakfast,
packed up, and headed out for the next day’s location and a new adventure.
Two Weeks ago I participated in a photography workshop in Death Valley.
The workshop lasted 6 days and 5 nights. The first two sessions were located
near Furnace Creek at Zabriskie Pt. Tuesday evening and Mule Team Point
Wednesday morning. This pattern of working an area in the afternoon/evening
and near there the next morning continued throughout the trip.
Zabriski Point is suppose to “the” iconic location in the park. I have never
felt that I was capturing this location “iconicaly”. The last three pictures
are from Mule Team Point. (This areas was famous for the “20 mule
team”mining. The their picture features Zabriskie Point.