Death Valley (picture portfolio here) grows on you – but it takes awhile.  The largest National Park in the lower 48 states, it is also the lowest, driest (?) and hottest, and I might toss in the fact that winds can be unremitting and fierce.  Small and large sand storms are common, making photography difficult if not impossible, and not just near the classic dune sites for obvious reasons, but elsewhere because of extreme camera shake.  In spite of those obstacles the variety of landscape and topography and the deeply saturated color palette are reasons to return.  The winds clear the dunes of any evidence of human activity, and the low light of dawn and dusk produce an explosion of color.  Death Valley can be viewed from high up or low down.  Daytime hiking in the various canyons can be comfortable.  But of course we are talking late fall to early spring here. 

We faced all these elements there in late March – especially the winds.  Looks like my camera sensor held up well, with only one obvious dust spot that I have to have cleaned up.  Even had a storm.  Temperatures from 92 – 70 (!!) during the day.  My favorite shoot was at the Mesquite dunes one morning; the Eureka dunes were a close second.  There was a late afternoon storm over Zabriskie, which is usually an early morning site.  We also caught some pictures looking back toward the Zabriskie overlook from the Golden trail in late afternoon against a very dark sky.  Dante’s View is gorgeous, but the winds had stirred up a general haze in the distance.  I have been told the wild flowers this year might disappoint because even by Death Valley standards moisture has been very low.  But keep an eye out.

Check out the Death Valley pictures here:

If you have questions regarding photographing and staying in the Valley, contact me.


Richard Gaston Photography