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Archive 2013 · Racetrack at Dawn
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Racetrack at Dawn


This was my first Dawn at Racetrack. I have been there a couple times at sunset but wanted to capture the first light.
I started driving at 2:30am and arrived in about two hours. I had my sleepy 15-year-old daughter with me and the poor off-road conditions kept her awake the whole way.
The moon was a no-show that night. It was pitch dark and icy cold, a mere 27 degrees when we settled in. We started a little hike and the silence was deafening. No other souls for miles. My daughter glanced over at me and I could sense a glimmer of fear in her eyes. Fatherly instinct forced me back to the car and I locked her in while I brazed the emptiness alone to capture the night sky.
To my surprise the place had been a little vandalized. Some of the signs were twisted and thrown on the floor. When it got a little brighter, we started hiking to find a good spot to capture the Dawn colors. I saw many missing stones and some had been intentionally moved.
I was able to take a couple shots with my 17 TS-E and posted them below. This time I didn't do any stitching like on the last time I was there. Just tilted and shifted the lens to aid composition and resolution. I hope you enjoy them.




  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/9.0    1/2s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    TS-E17mm f/4L lens    17mm    f/4.0    33s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 03, 2013 at 08:41 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Racetrack at Dawn


Hey Fred,

You got two really sweet shots here. I really like the soft light on the playa and the beautiful colors in the sky in #1, that really shines. And #2, very nice creativity with the posts and how you lit them up. The stars are really very nice looking. It creates a pretty mysterious shot.

I have been out at the Racetrack when it had a fuller moon and shot the rocks casting a shadow from the moon light. It's fun if you can spend the whole night out there, I did that once on my way up to meet HenryW at Mt Whitney. It can be a bit spooky out there at night if you let your mind wander at all... Now when I was there in November, I did notice quite a bit more of the rocks moved or displaced. I did see some rocks placed clearly by human hand, so that's sad to see. I was glad though that there were still a lot of rocks left alone, but boy, why people have to mess with things is beyond me.

Jim



Jan 03, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Zeph
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Racetrack at Dawn


Your track shot appears to be from the north end of the playa and offers a great view of that morning light. I was there in '08 and most if the vandal damage was further to the south where there were more rocks.
I really like to sift/stitch/crop with that lens...
Super shots, Fred



Jan 03, 2013 at 08:55 PM
LizzieShepherd
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Racetrack at Dawn


Great work, Fred - particularly the first - really love that one, with the perspective you've chosen. Sad to hear about vandals though ;-(
Lizzie



Jan 03, 2013 at 09:05 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Racetrack at Dawn


Super shots. I am really interested in that 33sec ISO1600 exposure. I hear the new cameras have a lot less amp glow than the 1ds-mk3 and 5dm2. Does that shot need much NR?


Jan 03, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Rob Tillyer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Racetrack at Dawn


Super shots Fred, looks to be a fascinating place. Too bad about the damage.

Rob



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Racetrack at Dawn


Two excellent images, Fred.
About #1- it's an endlessly fascinating place, and this interpretation is a fine one indeed.
I particularly like the perspective and composition. And the use of light is right on.
It's not easy showing those tracks without some shadows to help out- but you've managed to.
Charlie



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:24 PM
luckyspikes
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Racetrack at Dawn


The first one is literaly awesome. I'll go to the west in June but not in D.V. You make me regret. Very very good job Fred.


Jan 03, 2013 at 10:45 PM
AMaji
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Racetrack at Dawn


Great images Fred and a nice story to go with it

No. 1 just has the vastness feel to it. Very very nice indeed.



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Racetrack at Dawn


Fred,
Love that 1st one. I remember the stitched shot from earlier this year or last year...fantastic work as always!



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:54 PM
 

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Slabshaft
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Racetrack at Dawn


I can't wait to go there next week! All your shots get me amped about the trip I really really dig the stitched one you put together. I love the way the light hits the cracked soil in your first shot here. Really puts a nice highlight on the edges.

Your shots all make me jealous of the Canon TS lenses One can only hope Nikon gets around to improving their lineup.



Jan 03, 2013 at 11:17 PM
roguecoolman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Racetrack at Dawn


Nice photos Fred. The first one is really wonderful. I am sad to hear the vandalizing going on in the racetrack. I myself have just gotten there once this year in my life time and i shudder to think the next time i go back how much more unnatural stone movements there will be.



Jason



Jan 04, 2013 at 02:05 AM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Racetrack at Dawn


Sad to hear about the moved rocks and messed up signs. Seems nowhere escapes the mess we call civilization hmm?

Nice work, esp #2 IMO.



Jan 04, 2013 at 02:59 AM
briangg
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Racetrack at Dawn


I like these Fred,
I do feel the first one would work better as a vert. The top seems a little chopped off to me, and that is killing the flow a little bit. You have an awesome sky up there that I can't help but think would make that image flow and balance in a more effective manner. Your second one is quite awesome.

Brian



Jan 04, 2013 at 03:12 AM
wbrad
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Racetrack at Dawn


You sure got a great sky for your morning shoot, Fred. I love that first shot.
It angers me when I hear of rocks being moved around or removed altogether. It only takes a few idiots to spoil things for the rest of us.

Oh, how on earth did you manage to get your daughter out of bed at 2am

Wayne



Jan 04, 2013 at 03:38 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Racetrack at Dawn


Fred, I have photographed there many times. It is a beautiful and immense and silent place - and those things create, for me, more powerful impression than the sailing rocks. On one memorable occasion I arrived late in the day, stayed overnight completely along, and greeted dawn on the playa with only one other person in sight. What I think I remember most is that beautiful and deep silence in the dark of the night.

Your report about vandalism does not surprise me, I'm sad to say. I've written here before and encouraged people to be a bit more circumspect in their descriptions of specific places out of respect for the places that we think are so precious. Your story of continuing damage to the playa illustrates some of the reasons for my thinking on this.

How wonderful to share a visit to such a place with your daughter! :-)

Take care,

Dan



Jan 04, 2013 at 05:07 AM
roman.johnston
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Racetrack at Dawn


Wow...the first one looks like it is lit like a flash went off in the foreground. Cool stuff!

Roman



Jan 04, 2013 at 05:13 AM
BostonGreg
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Racetrack at Dawn


#2 is fantastic. Wow that 17tse is sharp! Great work, thanks for sharing!


Jan 04, 2013 at 05:40 AM
boingyman
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Racetrack at Dawn


Very nice Fred, especially the racetracks. I'm hoping in 2013 I'll get a chance to venture out there.


Jan 04, 2013 at 05:51 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Racetrack at Dawn


It's truly sad to hear about the recent vandalization you've witnessed there. That just goes to show why some locations should be kept close to the chest. I witnessed some areas of Zion this past fall that were suffering at the touch of people. It's sad really --- perhaps they should rough up the road to racetrack a bit to raise the bar of entry. :-)

In any case, you walked away with some stunning shots. I especially like the look of the dried mud in your first shot.



Jan 04, 2013 at 06:19 AM
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