Scott Davenport Photography
Photography – Education – Fun

Blog

Learn

Grow your composition skills and camera technique with In The Field videos. Watch In Post videos for processing tips and tricks. Also check out ON1 Photo RAWLightroom and Plotagraph learning centers.

Experience

Join me on a workshop and improve your craft. New workshops in late summer and fall of 2018 will be posted soon. Join my mailing list and be the first to know when dates are announced.

Share

Follow me on social media and share your work. I'd like to see what your lens sees.

 

Thinking About Death Valley

Manly Beacon | Death Valley Gallery

Manly Beacon | Death Valley Gallery

I have been normalizing my photos across the various online galleries and portfolios this past week. The organizational side of it is a little mundane, although I'm getting to revisit and enjoy some wonderful photos I've taken the last several years.

In November of last year, I did a 3-way whirlwind road trip through Death Valley. A highlight was sunrise at Zabreskie Point. Above is one of the photos I took that morning. I'd like to visit again. Some places I want to visit again, some things I want to do different.

I definitely want to return to Zabreskie Point for a sunrise ... hopefully with some clouds in the sky. Another place I want to revisit is the Artist's Palette and spend more time here. I rushed through in order to catch sunset down on the flats. Late afternoon isn't a bad time to be in the Artist's Palette. It's a canyon and loses light a before the actual sunset. I just want more time there.

Something I will do differently is to visit the Mesquite Dunes before dawn. I did a drive by in mid afternoon. By that time, the daily visitors have been up and down the dunes. Footprints everywhere. I hiked in a good 30 minutes into the dunes in a vain attempt to find pristine sand or a lone set of footprints fading into the distance. Just more dunes and zigzags of people-tracks. While I enjoyed the hike, I didn't come away with any keepers from Mesquite.

Then there's the Racetrack Playa. I have mixed emotions about it. It was an arduous drive in. I was in my own car. It has decent clearance, yet not the shocks of an off road jeep. From Furnace Creek, it took me 5 hours to get to the playa, the last 3 on unpaved, bumpy road that can shake the fillings out of your teeth.

Yet it is truly a sight to behold. The Grandstand at the north, tall and out of place, while also dwarfed by the surrounding mountains. The dry, cracked earth. The silence. I spent the night there. It was a clear night, a half moon all but negated the need for a flashlight. I captured some great star trails. And it got cold at night. Shivering cold. A good 50 degree (F) swing from day to night.

It was tough to find the "sailing stones". Sadly, I found more tire tracks than trails left by sliding rocks. I did find a few good stone trails at the south end of the playa. An unexpected thing was 2 full bars of signal on my iPhone at the south end. Yup ... I called home and said "Guess where I am?" And then a 5+ hour drive back to to "civilization". And another 8 hours home. That was a long day. I'm not sure I'll return to the playa on my next visit. If I do, I'm definitely renting a jeep.