Saturday, December 12, 2009

Workshop at Lone Pine & Death Valley

Winter shooting in the deserts is always pretty cool. And, last week was no exception. The low angle of the light and mild temperatures make the experience even better.

Well, MILD may not be exactly accurate......but, it sure beats the sweltering 100 degree plus days of summer. We has a couple early mornings that dipped into the 20's; but, the great scenery made it well worthwhile, even for the softest city slickers.

We began our trip in the sierra nevada foothill town of Lone Pine, California. Known primarily now for being at the trailhead for the hike to Mt Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48.

After getting to shoot two sunrise sessions here, our group migrated about 80 miles east into Death Valley to our base camp at Stovepipe Wells for a couple more days of great light and pristine sand dunes. And, by describing the dunes this way, I'm referring to the fact that there wasn't a single footprint to be found....except our own. Due, in fact to the heavy winds the night before, which cleaned and groomed the several mile long sand pile to perfection.

At these particular dunes, the best light is normally in the morning, right as the first rays of sun crosslight the ripples and abstract shapes. The same situation holds true in Lone Pine, too. Once the sun gets behind the mountains at around 4pm, it can be tough shooting in the soft light....unless there's some cooperative clouds to bounce some light around, and add some colors.

We'll be heading back out there again, between Christmas and New third trip in less than 5 weeks. And, still.....every time there it's always new conditions for great photography.

If you'd like to see a larger version of any of these photos, just click on the image.

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