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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Death Valley National Park 'folio
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01/28/2005 09:45:01 AM · #1
Last November I was lucky enough to get to spend a week in Death Valley National Park. I've finally put together a collection of the better images I took and would like to invite you to take a look at them.

This is a 17Mb pdf download and you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to look at it. It is best viewed at '100%' or the original size, otherwise the images tend to get screwed up a bit by quick resampling.

Hope you enjoy it!

Death Valley 2004 Portfolio
01/28/2005 10:00:36 AM · #2
i can't believe you just handed this out for free

absolutely stunning shots, Gordon

i feel like i owe you money
01/28/2005 10:05:05 AM · #3
Amazing collection. Thanks for sharing! Too many incredible shots to even begin choosing a favorite.
01/28/2005 10:54:23 AM · #4
Fantastic phtoos, and well presented. Are you considering using a service to create a book from this, like Shutterfly's bound books perhaps?

01/28/2005 10:59:50 AM · #5
Looks good Gordan. You should swing by Rocky Mountain National Park sometime.
01/28/2005 11:27:24 AM · #6
It looks like you Had a wonderful time and got some really great shots. You mention a sand storm, how did you deal with the sand/equipment. Did you have any problems with it getting into things. I plan to go there soon, do you recommend going solo? Or how far off the beaten track did you get for these shots?

Thanks for sharing, great job as usual.
01/28/2005 11:31:32 AM · #7
good stuff Gordon!!!

James
01/28/2005 11:34:30 AM · #8
Originally posted by hopper:

i can't believe you just handed this out for free

absolutely stunning shots, Gordon

i feel like i owe you money


Absolutely. It's breathtaking!
01/28/2005 11:55:08 AM · #9
Great stuff Gordon. I really like the shots with the water in sections in the foreground of the images.
01/28/2005 11:59:26 AM · #10
outstanding set of photos !! thanks for sharing.

these stood out to me.
Sunset, Funeral Mountains, and Shadow Play.
i also thought Play, was a creative way to document a pair of photographers' friendship.

edit - to be honest i think these are worthy of publishing. add some documentary to each image, and it reminds of a journal type book i own.
'Chased by the Light; A 90 Day Journal; Revisted After the Storm' worth taking a look at. Jim Brandenburg. nothing like your photos, but the feel is similar. he forced himself to take only one image a day for 90 days. no second chances.


Message edited by author 2005-01-28 12:05:19.
01/28/2005 12:08:57 PM · #11
Fantastic Shots. Thanks for sharing.
01/28/2005 04:08:02 PM · #12
Gordon

Very well done and very professional looking!

01/28/2005 04:22:44 PM · #13
Beautiful work Gordon! Death valley is on my short list, as well as a return to Joshua Tree.
01/28/2005 04:37:47 PM · #14
Originally posted by autool:

It looks like you Had a wonderful time and got some really great shots. You mention a sand storm, how did you deal with the sand/equipment. Did you have any problems with it getting into things. I plan to go there soon, do you recommend going solo? Or how far off the beaten track did you get for these shots?

Thanks for sharing, great job as usual.


These are excellent! I too was lucky enough to have visited Death Valley and got a few nice shots but I ain't posting them here in this company!

I stayed for a night at a place called Stovepipe Wells. The sand dunes there are about 2 miles down the road and you can get amongst them from the road. Strange thing walking in the sand, it doesn't look far but when you start walking it takes a long time to get anywhere. When you get to the top of a dune and look back you'll find you've gone a long way. There was no danger of getting lost, (I don't think) but I can easily understand how disorientating and dangerous walking in a desert must be. Best time is early morning and late afternoon, dusk, for the shadows obviously.

There are some spectacular rock formations as well, didn't really have enough time, do we ever?
01/28/2005 04:44:21 PM · #15
Gordon, just saved the pdf so I can take a long look thru. From a quick scan thru these are stunning photos.

They seem, after just a quick look, to ooze energy and spiritual depth, I look forward to perusing them at my leisure.

Thanks for such a dynamic collection of Photos.

Steve
01/28/2005 05:55:00 PM · #16
Wow, Gordon! VERY impressive! You should be very proud. They are all excellent shots. I think my faves might are "Sweep" and "Photographers' Dune". You should turn these into a coffee table book. Very, very, very nice!

Jen
01/28/2005 06:59:34 PM · #17
Let me add my voice to the chorus... stunning pictures.

I have GOT to go up there and take some of my own.
01/28/2005 07:09:25 PM · #18
Exquisite work...
01/28/2005 07:16:03 PM · #19
This screams to be made into a book, Gordon. Like everyone else, I feel like I should have paid for admission to these!
01/29/2005 12:51:15 AM · #20
Originally posted by autool:

It looks like you Had a wonderful time and got some really great shots. You mention a sand storm, how did you deal with the sand/equipment. Did you have any problems with it getting into things. I plan to go there soon, do you recommend going solo? Or how far off the beaten track did you get for these shots?

Thanks for sharing, great job as usual.


Luckily the sandstorm was on the very last day. The wind had been blowing all night and we were close to giving up - in fact about half the group did. I left my backpack in the car and only took my D60, a 17-40 F4L on the camera and my tripod + CF cards. Mostly I kept the camera under my fleece on the way out, which kept the sand off it during the hike through the dunes. We hiked for maybe 30 minutes across the dunes with the sand blowing directly in to our faces - even though the sun wasn't quite up, I was wearing sunglasses just to see and most of our group gave up or turned back due to the blowing sand, with only 4 people making it really far out in to the dunes.

The sunrise with the light hitting the blowing sand was worth it and got me some of the more unusual shots in that 'folio. The 17-40 is weather sealed, mostly, but the rubber seals ended up looking like sandpaper, there was so much impacted sand stuck in them. Partly this was because I was lying down low on the dunes, right in the middle of the blowing sand to get the best angle, with my tripod buried about 2 feet in to the sand to be stable in the wind.

Getting back, I didn't even take the lens off - just stuck the whole camera in a ziplock bag and went home. The dials on the D60 body would scratch and grate as I turned them, and there was sand under the top LCD and around all of the buttons.

Getting home I used about an entire can of compressed air to blow off the lens mount, dials, knobs, zoom, switches etc and got basically all of the sand off the outside. (not using compressed air inside the sensor chamber, obviously) Once I'd blown all the visible sand off, I took it and got the sensor professionally cleaned. Everything works fine. Death valley is one of the more inhospitable places I've taken my camera - all the shots of water are actually totally saturated salt solution, rather than freshwater and we were standing in it up to our ankles most days (good boots are worthwhile!) The tripod was also often soaking in salt water or mud for hours at a time. Sand gets everywhere.

I totally dismantled my tripod when I got home and gave it a shower and a blow dry - again no ill effects, although some of the metal screws and bolts had started to corrode.

Of course after surviving all this rough treatment in Death Valley and getting everything cleaned, I managed to get hit by a wave shooting a yacht race in the Southern Ocean so had to get everything cleaned all over again...

01/29/2005 12:51:56 AM · #21
Originally posted by kirbic:

Beautiful work Gordon! Death valley is on my short list, as well as a return to Joshua Tree.


It is quite the experience - I'm planning on spending 3 days in Joshua Tree in April if things work out.
01/29/2005 12:58:40 AM · #22
Originally posted by autool:

I plan to go there soon, do you recommend going solo? Or how far off the beaten track did you get for these shots?

Thanks for sharing, great job as usual.


When you first get there it is a vast, barren, desolate place - it is worthwhile having a good guide or guidebook to make the best use of the time you have there (particularly knowing where the best places are to be early morning/ late evening - travel times to anywhere are long - so you should have a good idea of where you want to go. Also, the recent flooding has made some favourite places tough to get to - again it is worth doing some research ahead of time to make the best use of your trip.

I went with a group (the Rocky Mountain School of Photography) and their instructor was excellent - getting us to all the best places at the best times of day. I've since bought a guide from Photo Traveller that covers Death Valley as well as other parts of Southern California, that seemed to cover basically all of the places I shot at, so that might be worth a look too.

Most of these shots were taken at fairly well recognised 'places' in Death Valley. The Dunes at Stovepipe Wells and Badwater are well signposted for example. Cow Creek is probably a bit further off the beaten/ marked track, but is still only about a 20 minute walk from the road. Darwin Falls was maybe the longest hike we did and that was only about 40 minutes in on not very tough terrain (again - good stout walking boots are required for most of this)

I think with some planning and a willingness to get up early/ stay up late and drive a bit, you could have an excellent self-guided trip. Wildflower season is supposed to be very interesting too, especially with the rain last year.
01/29/2005 12:59:36 AM · #23
Gordon great shots..Thanks for sharing..Here a link for a statepark photo website ..where there migth appreciate to see your work also..Rock//www.mystateparkphotos.com/index.html

Message edited by author 2005-01-29 16:39:44.
01/29/2005 01:03:37 AM · #24
Only one word I can use....awesome.
01/29/2005 01:15:35 AM · #25
Originally posted by richterrell:

Fantastic phtoos, and well presented. Are you considering using a service to create a book from this, like Shutterfly's bound books perhaps?


Actually the PDF was my final destination for these, rather than any printed version. I am making some individual prints as gifts but I don't plan on making any sort of one-off book. Most of my family are scattered around the globe so I will be sending them CDs of the PDF as well.
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