I am inspired by dramatic light and intense mood. Death Valley National Park, CA offers some very interesting landscape photography opportunities, especially during rare rain storms. Living in Los Angeles, Death Valley National Park is only 5 hours away. That being said, I continuously watch the weather and track storms as they move across California. It was Saturday morning, January 30, 2016, and the weather in Death Valley called for rain, so I packed up my camera equipment and headed out to chase the storm.
Having to return to work on Monday, I only had a short time to photograph. Having photographed the dunes before, I prefer this location during sunrise as the lighting provides excellent shadows and highlights, along with hues of magical golden lighting. This storm not only brought rain, but strong winds as well, clearing the footprints from the dunes. I started my hike across the dunes an hour before sunrise, allowing plenty of time to find the right composition. As the sun rose, it didn’t light up in the way that I had hoped, the clouds blocked the sun and the strong contrasting shadows and highlights that I sought after didn’t appear right away. I continued to hike around the dunes waiting for the clouds to break. Losing hope, the sun finally broke through the clouds just briefly enough for this image. I shot this on a Canon EOS 60D, Focal Length 21 mm, Exposure: 1/50 sec; f/11; ISO 100. I love how the textured sand in the foreground leads the eye into the image. The lighting lasted long enough for me to only take 4 shots before the clouds moved in and closed out the morning.