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| p.1 #5 · ADVICE needed - Death Valley, Valley of Fire, Zion, Red Rock Canyon |
If you are visiting DEVA for that long (though it looks like you'll also hit a bunch of other locations), rather than trying to hit specific spots, use that large amount of time to explore and investigate and develop your own relationship to the place. Broadly speaking, here are some thoughts:
1. Icons are worth shooting, but since you'll be there so long, don't just shoot them "whenever." Instead, reserve them for days when the particular conditions are such that they might produce above average image possibilities. Be aware of things like passing weather systems that might bring clouds, the possibility of including water in your photographs if rains continue, shooting dust storms should they arise, and so forth.
2. Given the extended time, in addition to shooting things at the traditional "best" times (e.g. - Zabriskie at sun rise), try some of these familiar subjects at unusual times - midday, evening instead of sunrise (and vice versa), during various weather conditions, etc.
3. As you start to feel that you have exhausted the place - and this will probably happen at times during such a long shoot - get out a map, look in a book, have a conversation with a ranger... and head off so some of those out-of-the way places that you might not think would be so exciting if you were just there for a few days. I'm not going to start listing them - that contributes to turning them into over-populated, busy places - but you'll figure this out with a bit of thought and curiosity.
I note your lengthy and very detailed itinerary. Such a plan is perhaps necessary when time is tight, but it can be counterproductive when you have more time available. ("If it's Tuesday, it must be Zion.") Do have a list of things that you would like to visit and even times of day. But I encourage you to be a lot more flexible than that plan suggests and take opportunities as they come. (On a recent long trip to Utah, we planned to visit a particular place early on, and we did so. Conditions were extremely challenging and our results were not what we hoped. Later we gave up another pre-planned diversion and returned to that first place and the results were wonderful. Flexibility made this possible.)