Monday, February 22, 2010

Death Valley Trip Feb. 2010

We just returned from a trip to Death Valley, what a trip! black clouds, filtered light, snow capped mountains all the way around us, comfortable temps...wonderful.
I will be posting a few pics in the next couple of weeks from what I took and from those that attended this excursion with me. Next year I will officially offer this trip on my schedule, probably in mid Feb 2011 so that we can all get away from the cold
and get out, have some fun, learn some new photo skills and come away with some cool images.

The first image is a composition of the well known Manly Peak taken by Jim Lamorter at Zabriske Pt, usually shot wider and in a horizontal fashion, this is an excellent example, in my opinion, of a "less is more" capture. I have seen many views of Zabriske and this verticle capture to me is quite striking. The second posted image was taken by Harry Hitzeman who also attended this recent trip.
It is an outstanding capture of this very iconic composition. As we were waiting for the light to come up and hit the Sierras we decided to paint the arch with a flashlight. After interpreting the scene for its tonal values, metering off the sky
is what made most sense for retaining the mood along with getting a proper exposure throughout the rest of the scene. This was not one of those bracket twenty shots and pick the best one type of situations, after deciding on how best to capture the scene a couple of thirty second exposures were taken and that was it.....

I believe one lesson here is, don't get trapped into pre visualizing and waiting for a set of conditions that may or may not come along, take what is in front of you and "see" what you can do with it!



  1. I have been with Ian Whitehead on two workshops now and have to say they are action-packed. Ian definitely knows his way around the southwest (he only gets lost near big cities), and packs in more locations in a few days than I thought possible. He helps you develop a smooth routine of compose, focus, and expose. He'll answer any questions you have, and gently points you in the direction of getting in front of and being ready to capture the best possible compositions in the best light, without stepping on your own artistic instincts to shoot whatever you want! I think his own works are mesmerizing! Here's a sample of an image I made on my last tripwith him:

  2. Hey Ian, are you still doing workshops?