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Archive 2022 · Winter in Death Valley II

  
 
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Winter in Death Valley II


Congratulations to gdanmitchell for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 18 votes - View Previous Winners


I've continued to work on photographs from my recent visit to Death Valley NP, and I have a few more photographs to share here, this time including more monochrome images. (The previous set is found here.)

Part of what attracts me to the Death Valley NP landscape is the lack (or at least near invisibility of) vegetation in many places, with the result that the underlying land is revealed. Another aspect — which isn't unique to DEVA but seems amplified here — is that the bare landscape of dunes and rocks is painted by light in remarkable ways.

Dan

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/Color/DuneColorLayersSunsetIbex20220125.jpg
"Layers, Sunset Dunes"

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/Color/InterruptedCurveIbexDunesVert20220126.jpg
"Interrupted Dune #2

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/Color/CreosoteBlowingSandEveIbex20220125-01.jpg
"Creosote and Blowing Sand"

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/Color/SunsetDunePanoIbex20220125.jpg
"Last Light, Sand Dunes"

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/BlackAndWhite/DesertMountainCanyonBeforeSunriseBW20220125.jpg
Desert Mountains, Before Sunrise

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/BlackAndWhite/PlantsDunesSunIbexBW2022012.jpg
"Dune Plants, Morning Light"

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/BlackAndWhite/AngleOfReposeSandDuneDetailBW20220126.jpg
"Angle of Repose"

http://gallery.gdanmitchell.com/gallery/var/albums/NaturalWorld/TheLandscape/California/Desert/DeathValley/BlackAndWhite/DuneCurvePoolOfLightIbexBW20220126.jpg
"Sand Dunes, Light and Shadow"



Feb 08, 2022 at 12:18 AM
junglialoh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Winter in Death Valley II


Nice professional work that made detailed delicacy and beauty alive


Feb 08, 2022 at 05:57 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Winter in Death Valley II


++++++ You need to put together a book of DEVA pictures.


Feb 08, 2022 at 07:06 AM
Starfire8
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Winter in Death Valley II


Exquisite images, Dan! All of your work is a pleasure to view! I visited Eureka Dunes for the first time last Thanksgiving and was plagued by a swarm of campers that i did not expect to see. The dunes are covered in footprints. I managed to get some interesting images with people in them, (which I usually avoid in my images), but my images come no where close to what you are showing here. Kudos to you on your attention to detail and composition!!!

Best regards, David



Feb 08, 2022 at 11:46 AM
Brad Williams
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Winter in Death Valley II


Great work as always Dan. I really the last 3 are my favorites in this set, especially the 3rd from last and the last. Thanks for sharing!


Feb 08, 2022 at 12:14 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Winter in Death Valley II


Thanks, all.

CamperJim, I've thought about that, though the book market is a tough thing. I have one published book (on Sierra Nevada Fall color, from Heyday Books), so I know a bit about the challenges of these things. I may, at some point, just do a small run self-published book, without significant profit goals. I'm also considering a small "folio" edition of some of the DEVA prints. We'll see!

(If you look around at the right facilities in DEVA you will find a bunch of my prints. There's also a popular Death Valley guidebook that comes in multiple language editions that includes a some of my photographs — along with those of a bunch of other folks who photograph the park. The book's cover photo of dunes and some creosote is one of my photographs.)

Starfire8, your story about Eureka Dunes resonates. The first time I was there was in mid-winter, perhaps late December or early January. When I arrived there were a few other people around, but certainly no more than a dozen in total. They all left late in the day and I camped there that night in complete solitude.

Fast-forward to a visit last year, a bit later in the season. I was expecting something similar — people when I arrived, but few staying overnight. When I arrived there were perhaps three or four times as many as I had encountered on that first visit. As the afternoon wore on, instead of watching people depart I watched more and more parties show up. That evening there were more than a dozen parties (not individual people — some groups were a half dozen or more) camped in the small campground and further up the road.

It seems that during the pandemic a lot of people wanted to be in (formerly) more isolated areas. Consequently there seems to be a lot more remote camping in DEVA, and in places that were formerly almost devoid of other visitors you now are more likely to have company.

Avoiding footprints in dunes is sometimes a challenge. Obviously, it helps to go into the dunes when the wind is blowing or right afterwards — and that was the case when I made these dune photographs. If you go to the most popular dunes it is worth thinking about ways to get to them that are not the routes that everyone else takes. And, obviously, you'll find fewer footprints in more remote locations and in places where approach roads are rougher and walks are longer.

Dan

Edited on Feb 08, 2022 at 01:25 PM · View previous versions



Feb 08, 2022 at 12:16 PM
Ross Martin
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Winter in Death Valley II


Superb work Dan, well done!


Feb 08, 2022 at 01:09 PM
60HzShuffle
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Winter in Death Valley II


Love the colors in the first one and really drawn to the dune plants photo. Very nice work!


Feb 08, 2022 at 08:18 PM
agvogel
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Winter in Death Valley II


Love these, Dan. #1 ("Layers, Sunset Dunes") and #4 ("Last Light, Sand Dunes") in particular speak to me; I'm always partial to the warm saturation of the last bits of sunlight complemented by cool shadows. Mind sharing your focal length on these two?


Feb 08, 2022 at 08:23 PM
Paul.K
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Winter in Death Valley II


I think I visibly gasped when I saw "Dune Plants, Morning Light." Really love that one--simply superb.


Feb 08, 2022 at 10:07 PM
billsamuels
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Winter in Death Valley II


Magnificent Dan! I love monochrome photos and yours are spectacular. But the color photos, especially the first three, are just breathtaking. The light and shadows really give amazing depth.

We're going to Palm Springs this spring and I'm hoping to make it to Death Valley as well. The last time I went, it was March, but I wasn't ready for the temps.

Beautiful work,
Bill



Feb 08, 2022 at 10:51 PM
keepclicking
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Winter in Death Valley II


Dan, I really like how to used the shadows and dunes line to compose your images. Beautiful set and YGMV


Feb 08, 2022 at 11:14 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Winter in Death Valley II


Ross Martin, 60HzShuffle, agvogel, Paul.K, billsamuels, and keep clicking, thanks for your comments!

agvogel asked about focal length on "Layers, Sunset Dunes" and "Last Light, Sand Dunes." Both were made with very long focal lengths — perhaps unusually long for landscape by some reckonings. "Layers, Sunset Dunes" was shot at 400mm and "Last Light, Sand Dunes" was at 300mm.

I'm partial to longer focal lengths for landscape photography. While I carry and occasionally use lenses as wide as 16mm, my most used landscape lens is probably a 70-200mm, and I frequently use the 100-400mm when conditions and the image call for it. Death Valley can be one of those places, partially due to the immense distances that are common there and also because I often like to "excerpt" small sections of the larger landscape in my compositions. (I wrote a bit more about those choices in a comment in the post containing the first set of images from this trip.)

billsamuels, March is often a pretty good time for Death Valley, especially in years with a bit more moisture, as you can get some wildflowers. I'm not sure how that's going to play out this year — there was some decent rain earlier in the season, but then things dried up a lot. We'll be there at the end of March again, too.

Again, thanks!

Dan



Feb 08, 2022 at 11:42 PM
Sharona
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Winter in Death Valley II


These are gorgeous! The first one is just crazy good; I think I prefer the color ones. So pretty.


Feb 09, 2022 at 11:16 AM
Zackrepko
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Winter in Death Valley II


Nice work—the desert in the colder months makes some really special light & imbues the setting with a little something extra. You can see that in these shots for sure.


Feb 09, 2022 at 10:43 PM
40Driggs
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Winter in Death Valley II


These are truly excellent. I really need to get there one of these days!


Feb 10, 2022 at 02:24 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Winter in Death Valley II


Sharona, Zackrepko, and 40Driggs... Thanks!

And, yes, it is a great place to do photography, with a near infinity of possible subjects.

Dan



Feb 11, 2022 at 12:56 PM
Ross Martin
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Winter in Death Valley II


Dan, back for a 3rd or 4th time to view this set, just gorgeous fine-art work. You have my vote this week!

I’m currently shooting at White Sands and I know how hard it is to make these kinds of sublime compositions.

Cheers,
Ross



Feb 11, 2022 at 08:08 PM
samsdad
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Winter in Death Valley II


This is one of the most beautiful sets I have ever seen of Death Valley.

And Lord knows, there are lots of images of Death Valley!

Rich



Feb 11, 2022 at 10:26 PM
Mercurysilver
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Winter in Death Valley II


Dan,

Beautiful ! I cant help going back over and over again to "Creosote and Blowing Sand".
New "Kid on the block" , so these are the first of your work I've seen.

Joe

* waiting for the DEVA book



Feb 11, 2022 at 11:57 PM
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