Death Valley: Day 2

Inundated: Badwater @ Sunset on Day 2 (Velvia 50 8x10 | 5 sec @ f/45 | 2 Stop Hard Grad)

February 2, 2010

On the morning of day two, I woke up at 4AM.  My goal was to witness the Mesquite dunes in the moments before and after sunrise.  By viewing the light, I would be better prepared for shooting in the coming days.  There were a few clouds in the dark pre-dawn sky.  I had a feeling it would be a wonderful sunrise.  I chose not to use my headlamp because the nearly full moon.

As I wandered among the dunes, I saw a very fast bright light in my peripheral vision. Without thinking, my first instinct was to duck.  I soon realized that it was a very bright meteorite shooting through the atmosphere. Sure, I’m over 6 feet tall, but I just ducked because of a meteorite?  I laughed out loud after that one.

I spent the afternoon at Badwater. There was noticeably less water than the day before, but the clouds were intriguing.  Instead of hanging low along the mountain peaks, they were very high.  I stuck around, and took two shots of the wonderful  color that unfolded in front of me.

Rather than pack up my camera, I left it setup overnight.  I don’t worry about anyone stealing it, or damaging it.  It is located a mile from the parking area in the dark.  Even in full daylight, it is nearly impossible to see.  I used my GPS to mark the location so I could find it in the morning. I simply remove the lens, then place a plastic bag over the camera to protect it from any potential rain.  That way, it’s ready to shoot in case I decided to take a morning photo.  It was time to drive 33 miles back to camp for the night.

One Response to “Death Valley: Day 2”

  1. David Patterson Says:

    Ben… there was much more water on the flats when we first walked out there, and despite 70 degrees and sunny weather for the last few days the amount of water actually seems to have increased. I admire your patience in the process of image making… it is good to slow down and enjoy the landscape. Having said that… hurry up and post some images!

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