Monday, January 26, 2009

Death Valley - Phototrip

Death Valley National Park.

My Father, Jim and I hopped in the car and headed towards the mecca of photography in California, Death Valley.

Jim had just recently purchased a new Nikon D80, I had my D70 and the Dave Gatley had practically every professional camera Nikon makes, along with more gadgets and gizmos than circuit city; which to his credit are fantastically sweet.

We spontaneously decided a trip of epic photojournalistic proportions was long overdue, promptly jumped in the car and headed north east.

Desert Glass turned purple by decades of unrelenting sun, left behind by miners.

For those of you who haven't been, or have only driven through... Death Valley is quite an interesting place, aside from the photography. In the early 1900's it was a magnet for mining boom towns, which seemed to appear overnight in the middle of no where. Thousands of people would prode and poke the mountain sides hoping to strike it rich, however they ultimately found nothing but a godforsaken landscape and shattered dreams. Sucks for them, but it's pretty freaking sweet for us.

In their haste, they left behind them mountains of trash, debris, tools, women, children and apparently some mules. Which when mixed with 120+ degree weather, 300+ days of sunlight, and not much human life to speak of, makes for sweet photo fodder.

Some sort of buckety/kettley/boxey bin of rust and awesomness.

I found this admist a mass graveyard of tin cans, broken glass, rusted nails and other misc. ghost town remnants.

Death Valley Sand Dunes in the early morning sunlight.

When we weren't rumaging through ghost towns dump yards, we found ourselves scampering across the windswept sand dunes in the middle of the valley. Patted down from a rare but brief overnight soaking, the dunes were slightly frozen in their normally fluid state. Winds pick up across the valley with unbelievable strength and constantly reshape the surfaces of these dunes.

Devil's Cornfield - Death Valley
I guess those bushes look like corn....if you're blind, and I guess what with them being in death valley and all they are a little ominous, but "Devil's Cornfield"? Really? More like "Sandy McBushes Bushfield" if you ask me, but I'm no nameyologist.

Wild Burros - Rhyolite, Nevada
We chased down these poor asses like our dinner depended on it. Armed with telephotoish lenses and a yearning for some action shots, we geared up and chased the heard:

Dave and Jim plotting their attack.

While Dave and Jim attacked from above, I flanked the dumb-asses and almost caught them off gaurd, that was of course until my dad came storming up the mountain side in his black, tank like tahoe. Thanks Dad. =)

Jim at Ubehebe Crate - Death Valley, CA

Dave Gatley working his magic at Ubehebe Crater.

Black, volcanic rock around the base of Ubehebe Crater.

A little over-photoshopped image of some old mining ruins near Badwater Basin in the valley. The winds were blowing about 40+ mph while I shot this. Strong enough to send Jim chasing after his hat a good 100 yards.

Badwater - Death Valley
The recent rains left behind some water on the valley floor, I've never seen water here in all the time I've visited the park, a definite bonus.



Lisa said...

These are beautiful images. I'm planning a trip there in the next few weeks, and I'm inspired!

Anonymous said...

What are beautifull pictures !!!!

francis said...

What a BEAUTIFUL site-such a treat when you can't go yourself-wonderful photos-thanks so much!! Francis

Francis Bell said...

WOW!!!Great blogsite-I really enjoyed the pictures! Thank you for brightening my day-Francis

Limo Hire said...

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