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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Back To Death Valley


Recently I shared several sets of Death Valley National Park photographs from a visit I made a couple of months ago. Two months later, during the last days of March, I was back in the park to photograph once again. This was a different sort of trip — the first time I camped, sometimes in remote locations, but this time my wife (also a photographer) joined me and we stayed in more civilized accommodations. This meant a bit more time photographing near better-known locations, though we did also head into the backcountry on a couple of occasions.

The weather and the light make a big difference in this park, and conditions were not like those of the earlier trip. This time, with the exception of a bit of rain on the day we arrived, it was sunny much of the time (though with some difficult high clouds when photographing dunes on a couple of occasions) and wind was barely an issue.

Here's a first set of photographs from this recent trip.

Thanks,

Dan







"dune Study, Evening"






"Badlands, Morning Light"






"Sand Dunes, Soft Light"






"Winding Canyon, Morning Haze"






"Sea of Dunes"






"Canyon Bend"






"Badlands and Desert Mountains, Morning"






"Desert Mountains and Wash, Evening"



Apr 09, 2022 at 01:26 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Back To Death Valley


Beautiful set, make me want to be there again.

Marcelo



Apr 09, 2022 at 01:52 PM
Ross Martin
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Back To Death Valley


Dan, another masterful set from DV, most excellent.


Apr 09, 2022 at 02:23 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Back To Death Valley


As usual very good stuff, Dan. Always liked your DV shots.


Apr 09, 2022 at 05:50 PM
junglialoh
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Back To Death Valley


masterful handling delicate serpentine curves


Apr 10, 2022 at 08:25 AM
Starfire8
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Back To Death Valley


A fantastic set, Dan! I never tire of the more iconic locations in Death Valley. The light is always the deciding factor in Death Valley and you showcase some very pleasing conditions in this series. Excellent work!!!

Best regards, David



Apr 10, 2022 at 11:10 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Back To Death Valley


Lightsearcher wrote:
Beautiful set, make me want to be there again.

Marcelo


Ross Martin wrote:
Dan, another masterful set from DV, most excellent.


bobby350z wrote:
As usual very good stuff, Dan. Always liked your DV shots.


junglialoh wrote:
masterful handling delicate serpentine curves


Starfire8 wrote:
A fantastic set, Dan! I never tire of the more iconic locations in Death Valley. The light is always the deciding factor in Death Valley and you showcase some very pleasing conditions in this series. Excellent work!!!

Best regards, David


Thanks, all!

The quality of light is always important, but I agree that it is perhaps even more so in this sort of landscape where the "blank" terrain is a sort of canvas upon which that light falls — scenes can look very different depending on the time of day, the season, the nature of the sky, and the quality of the atmosphere.

Dan



Apr 10, 2022 at 03:04 PM
liftedspirit
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Back To Death Valley


A beautiful set Dan, but that canyon wall image is a stunner!

Well done!



Apr 11, 2022 at 10:31 AM
kurt765
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Back To Death Valley


Dan I've really been enjoying your recent Death Valley work. I've always followed along with your photos over the years and I'm not sure how to quantify it but your recent work has really stood out to me.
-Kurt



Apr 11, 2022 at 07:06 PM
 


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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Back To Death Valley


liftedspirit wrote:
A beautiful set Dan, but that canyon wall image is a stunner!

Well done!


kurt765 wrote:
Dan I've really been enjoying your recent Death Valley work. I've always followed along with your photos over the years and I'm not sure how to quantify it but your recent work has really stood out to me.
-Kurt


Thank you to both of you.

Kurt, I've thought a lot about what it is that might characterize my way of seeing, and one thing I've learned is that it is hard to see my own photography as others see it. (This is a pretty universal experience among photographers, by the way, as you'll find out if you talk to a lot of them. No one else sees our work the way we do because we're the only ones with a complete internal perspective on it, but that also means that it is hard for us to see it without that reference, too.)

Some things that I think may be general themes include:

- I am attracted to geometries, patterns, and forms, probably more than to some specific individual central subject.

- I love soft light and I'm more likely to be attracted to subjects where I have to increase contrasts rather than control them.

- I usually exclude sky from my photographs. (There are exceptions.)

- I like a lot of light in photographs, something I learned from one of my mentors years ago. Much of the post-processing is about seeing how much light I can get into the subject.

Of course, as I wrote above, it is really hard to objectively see what makes my photographs "mine" — I'm too close to the process, and to me they just are what they are to some extent.

For that reason, I'm always fascinated to hear what others think the characterizes my "style."

Thanks,

Dan



Apr 12, 2022 at 08:40 AM
Hathaway
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Back To Death Valley


Love that Marble Canyon area. Hard to get there but amazing ones you get there. Bob


Apr 12, 2022 at 09:03 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Back To Death Valley


Hathaway wrote:
Love that Marble Canyon area. Hard to get there but amazing ones you get there. Bob


Thank, Bob. Yes, it is a bit of a bumpy ride out to places like that — not the worst road in DEVA but not the best either. I actually like to camp out there so that I can photograph these areas morning and evening. (This visit was just for an afternoon — long enough to hike up the canyon through a few of the narrows.)

Dan



Apr 13, 2022 at 06:16 PM
ryansuuu
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Back To Death Valley


Awesome set! Love the first one. DV is such a special place.


Apr 17, 2022 at 09:11 AM
Majestictone
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Back To Death Valley


Incredible collection of beautiful images Dan …!!!!


Apr 17, 2022 at 12:38 PM
morris
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Back To Death Valley


A delight to view Dan. I love the way you use texture, curves and lines.

Morris



Apr 17, 2022 at 02:32 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Back To Death Valley


ryansuuu wrote:
Awesome set! Love the first one. DV is such a special place.


Majestictone wrote:
Incredible collection of beautiful images Dan …!!!!


morris wrote:
A delight to view Dan. I love the way you use texture, curves and lines.

Morris


Thanks to all three of you!

It is a special place. Decades ago I was all about the Sierra Nevada... and nothing else. (I still love the Sierra, of course.) I most definitely did NOT think of myself as a "desert person" at all. My first visit to DEVA back in the late 1990s was almost an accident. One of my kids was in a school hiking club, and I went along on that year's trip to Death Valley as a chaperone. Lucky me!

We arrived after dark, setting up camp at the Emigrant Campground on the open slopes leading below Towne Pass and leading toward Stovepipe Wells. I could see nothing at all of the landscape, and I had no prior experience with it. To this day I remember the feeling of unzipping my tent door and looking out to the east at the monumental valley... and being amazed. The week we spent there was life-changing — it included snow, a storm while camping at a location on the way toward the Race Track Playa, a short pack trip down the Valley itself, my first real dust storm, and more.

I returned a few times over the next few years, and then started going back once or twice each year to photograph about 15+ years ago. Even after all that time, I always find something new there.

And, yes, I'm a big fan to the compositional elements that morris mentions — and DEVA subjects provide a workshop in those things. (I recently read a photographic review that proposed that landscape photographs aspire towards abstraction, and I agree. It is about, as Minor White said, seeing photographs for what they are and for what else they are.

(For those who might recoil at the word "abstraction," note that the term isn't "abstract art," which isn't the same thing. :-)

Dan



Apr 18, 2022 at 11:45 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Back To Death Valley


Hey Dan,
1,3, and 5 are all really smooth peaceful photos. Great exposures. Canyon Bend is also really special, mixture of different sediment lines going different directions, that's really cool. Really nice set!
Bill



Apr 19, 2022 at 03:31 AM







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