Death Valley 2011: Day 10

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My video journal tells the story of the day. Next week, I’ll post an trip recap with the lessons I’ve learned, and my thoughts on the trip. I hope you guys have enjoyed the journey!

12 Responses to “Death Valley 2011: Day 10”

  1. scout327 Says:

    The elusive dune shot is turning into a thing of legend! Maybe the Mesquite dunes aren’t right for you. Have you thought about any of the other dune fields in DV?
    I really enjoyed following this trip and am looking forward to your recap! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      On my first trip to DV, I found a pretty cool composition in the Eureka Dunes. It was a dune crest shot. I’m sure there will be some technical issues getting a super sharp photo of that scene on 8×10, but it might be possible. If I finished up early at Badwater this year, my goal was to visit both the Mesquite dunes and the Eureka Dunes. I even brought enough extra gas cans to get me there directly from racetrack — but it was not needed. On my next trip, I’ll skip Badwater now that I have 3 shots from there in my portfolio, and split my time between Racetrack and the Eureka Dunes. Maybe that’ll be next January/February.

      • scout327 Says:

        Looking forward to your next DV trip! I’m heading back out in October, I’m going to bring my wife this time!
        I’ve made my “photography goal” for this year to be to take more time in setting up my shot and approach it as a LF shooter.

  2. David Patterson Says:

    Ben… I can remember being on my own in Death Valley for about 5 days a few years back. The lack of contact with other people was at first welcome – even what I was hoping for – but I soon realized that being alone wasn’t necessarily easy. It can be challenging yet cleansing at the same time… and a place as vast as Death Valley is the perfect setting to experience such solitude. Thanks for the invitation to share your journey… now the questions is… where next?

    • Ben Horne Says:

      For the first 5 or 6 days of the trip, my mind is filled with photography. I don’t even have time to think about the fact that I’m alone. I’m sure the same is true when you were on your trip there. The hunger to capture a great image image occupies my mind. After about a week of shooting, I often feel like I have some good images in the bag. My hunger for new photos starts to diminish, and that’s when I begin to lose my attention span. I find that 10 days is nearly perfect.

      As far as my next trip — I’m not sure. 🙂 I want to do some backpacking this summer, but that’s not set in stone yet. I’ll likely head to the local desert to shoot the wildflowers this spring. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, so hopefully it’ll be a good one. Maybe Joshua Tree NP as well. It’s all still up in the air.

  3. Jeff Preston Says:

    I, too, have enjoyed your journey Ben. Having just recently gotten back into medium format film photography it was interesting reading and listening to your approach to shooting film. Thanks for sharing your trip.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks Jeff. I’m glad to hear that you’ve gotten back into medium format. Sure is fun isn’t it? I love the anticipation of getting my film back from the lab, and seeing how it all turned out.

  4. John "Mac" McCaffery Says:

    Wow. Don’t know what to say. This is a great documentary of your trip. You are a true photographer and willing to go after what you want. I really enjoyed reading all days and I also read your Zion blog last year. I just can’t fathon waking up at 15˚ and drinking a cold gatoraide- yuch! I’ve been out to DV several times and like you, yet to get the dunes image I am happy with. Keep trying! Oh, the vid’s are a great perspective, and fit in well to show the reader some real footage and insight to your adventures. Can’t wait until your next trip. I’ll stop in at artwalk to say hi again.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks John! I started doing video so I would remember where I was going and what I was doing. It’s a great way to get a nice dose of technology (I love gadgets) while working with a traditional view camera. It’s the best of both worlds.

      Speaking of Artwalk, I should be getting some scans in the mail next week. I’m already well into the planning of my display this year. I hope to have at least 3 new pieces this year.

  5. Andreas Resch Says:

    Hey Ben!

    Just wanted to thank you for the great collection of videos you’ve created. I’m about half way through and enjoy them a lot. As I’m new to large format photography I especially enjoy your informations about film photography and the way you approach this way of shooting.

    Keep them coming – there’s not a lot of this kind of “insights” out there.

    Thanks, Andreas.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks Andreas! I’ve enjoyed viewing your shots on NPN. As I mentioned in the email, your shot “Plitvice Magic” is downright epic. Shots like that (and some of the others on your site) would be VERY difficult on LF because of the timing involved. This is why digital and LF compliment each other nicely. The great thing about the LF style of shooting is that it also applies to digital SLRs. It’s all photography — shutters, apertures, and ISO.

      When I decide to buy a digital SLR again (for the stuff I can’t shoot with LF), I know that I will be so much better than I was before. The LF has given me a sense of discipline that I never had before. Thanks again!

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