Before The Coffee » Photography

Zabriski Point, Death Valley

When it comes to National Park visitors, Death Valley is ranked low.  When I arrived it was windy, sunny and hot.  Everywhere I glanced I saw scenes from the Clint Eastwood movie “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.”  The landscape is naked, simply dirt and sky mile after mile.  Typically, my photographic destinations are filled with immediate excitement but entering Death Valley I didn’t yell “Wow”.  I didn’t even murmur “wow” but I kept moving.  Around 5 pm on my first day the land started to come alive with shadow, contrast, color and texture.  As the sun moved closer to the horizon Death Valley became more beautiful, then it was dark, like flipping a switch. I was alone, all alone in a place that looked more like mars than earth.

I’m comfortable by myself, it was the darkness that required my adapting. An hour after sunset I was hiking on unfamiliar ground, the half moon gave me enough light to see shadow so I kept moving in the direction of safe footing. I worked my way back to Zabriskie Point and in dim light found an interesting landscape. Once the moon was gone, in perfect darkness I took this shot.  It’s actually two shots combined, one of the landscape at moonset and then another several hours later.


  • Mike Dooley - November 17, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    Really beautiful work. The detail and textures in the landscape are fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • JB - November 19, 2012 - 9:19 am

    Not only is the image amazing but the words that you’ve written along with it add to the depth of your experience. I’ve read each and every post you’ve put up. This one is different. It is filled with a connection, a connection to those things you love both here and now. Well done my friend, well done.ReplyCancel

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