This subject is featured in Issue #1 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal
We had planned this trip to coincide not only with the peak of the fall colours in the Sierras but also a full moon which would rise at sunset on Sunday, October 24th. We decided that the place to be would be the dunes area of Death Valley near Stovepipe Wells. We were not disappointed.
Taken with a 300mm Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar lens. The atmosphere's magnifying effect on the moon while so close to the horizon can be clearly seen.
Also have a look at this perspective on the same scene taken by photographer Steve Kossack.
Aquerberry Point is located on the west side of Death Valley, opposite Zabriskie Point and Dante's View. It's in the Panamint Range, which are the mountains that you see across the valley from those east-side points. It's about a 45 minute drive, much of it over narrow dirt roads and to be there for sunrise you need to leave Stovepipe Wells at least an hour or more before first light. This isn't a well know tourist spot so you'll likely have it to yourself.
Not digitally enhanced, not filtered ..... just the real deal in a Death Valley sunrise as seen by Fuji Provia 100 film.
No matter where you go on the dunes near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley there are footprints. But, as with a photograph that I took in the same place 2 years before, with a bit of work one can make the footprints an effective part of the composition.
It's worth noting that the only time of day worth shooting in the dunes is either early morning or just before sunset. During the daytime they are simply boring, while the strong shadows of a rising or setting sun add tremendous texture and detail.
Taken with 300mm Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar lens.
Footprints, footprints and more footprints in the sand. This image was shot about a half-hour before the one above, when the light wasn't quite as warm but the shadows were already strong. I like the strong graphic statement created by the footprints as well as the texture of the sand itself. In this case the footprints become the composition. Again, this was taken with the 300mm Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar lens.
This subject is now featured in Volume 1, Number 1 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.
For a more complete write-up on photography and travel in Death Valley please visit here.