Death Valley in Their Eyes

With the positive feedback I received when I shared participant images from the Cuba tour, I figured, lets do it again! Here is a group of images from the participants on the recent Death Valley – Valley of Fire tour. Again, click on any of the highlighted links to view more of their work.  Enjoy!

Jo Johnson – In my life, I sometimes have a difficult time making choices. When I look at this image, with the white clouds mixed with rays of light and darker looming elements, it gives me great comfort in knowing that sometimes even Mother Nature has a difficult time making decisions.


Dan Sniffin – I learned from Galen Rowell many years ago that placing a lighter subject in front of a darker background would create the feeling of depth and a third dimension. It’s a technique I’ve used repeatedly whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Dune Contrasts 2103 rev

Felice Willat – I’m choosing this image because of its simplicity, complementary colors and because it has foreground, middle ground and background.  The peek-a-boo rocks separate the soft dunes and the late afternoon darkened mountains.

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 Carla Francis – I love the anticipation of a beautiful sunrise in a new location. We arrived in partial darkness at the Salt Flats in Death Valley to shoot the rivulets. Wow, the colors were absolutely stunning! It was a very spiritual experience for me.

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Howard Grill –  “Our group was very fortunate in having it rain a day or two before we arrived in Death Valley or I would not have been able to make this photo.  Perhaps more importantly, we had workshop instructors that knew where to take us in order to take advantage of the prior rain shower, as this site was totally invisible from the road.

One of the nice things about looking at photos I have taken is that they seem to transport me back to where I took them, with very clear memories of being at the specific location.  In addition to the memory of being with a really fantastic group of talented and creative people the other thing this photo makes me remember is the sound of the salt crunching under my hiking boots as I walked.  I had never walked on salt before.”
Death Valley Rivulets
 Jim Milligan –  When I finished with processing, I found myself staring at the image for a period of time and it reminded me of how short mans presence is on this earth. The valley has weathered for millions of years yet it survives in some form. The wall, will disappear and mans presence will vanish, but the valley will live.


Terry Schroeder – Contrasts.  Not just black and white, but straight and curved, rugged and delicate, short lived and almost timeless as well.  Great fun to try and capture all that in one image.


 Donnie Fulks –  I attended this tour led by John, Dan and Chuck to work on my BW photography skills. I did capture many BW images that I am fond of, so mission accomplished. There was, however,  one sunrise in Death Valley after a recent rain that had glowing clouds and reflections in the normally arid salt flats that screamed color to me. This is one of several from that morning.

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 Bob Hansen  – I found the dunes incredibly beautiful, alluring and almost sensual, with a sense they were alive. While the dunes are often presented with the extreme contrast of lights and shadows this image gives a feel of the contrasts but also the softness of the sand and the fragility of these wonderful shapes.


 Kathy Conway – There is something deeply satisfying, for me, about the “Last Shot” – the simplicity, the sense of a day’s work well done,  the solitude of the setting amidst a beautifully complex sky.

Day's End

 Cynthia Leeder –  I really like this one because I like how it worked out.  I like that they are walking in unison, carrying their tripods and gear off to discover their next picture.  I like the action of it.  I like the setting.  I like the light.  I like the complimentary colors of their shirts.  I just like it.


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  1. Peggy W March 16, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    These photos have put me in a state of awe. What a great trip!

    • JB March 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Indeed it was a great trip Peggy.

  2. Peggy W March 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    These photos have put me in a state of awe. What a great trip. What great moments!

  3. marty golin March 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    This IS a great idea showing even just a small sampling of the images produced (& comments.) Good people, good leaders, good site – how could you go wrong?

    • JB March 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      Glad you’re enjoying the idea Marty. I will be doing this for every tour/workshop now. Fun to feature these fine photographers.

  4. Mary M Butler March 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    I have enjoyed the ‘group’s’ photos. Some wonderful images from Death Valley, Dan included!

    • JB March 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      Yes Dan too. Just trying to get him a few more hits on his site!

  5. Chuck Kimmerle March 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    Really nice photography, folks. It was my utmost intent, while working with each of you to, at the very least, do no harm. Maybe even help a bit.

    Unfortunately, my monitor is still having some issues. Donnie’s black and white photo of the Salt Creek flats has this orange glow.

    • JB March 17, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      I know, I noticed the weird orange cast to Donnie’s image too. He told me he used the gradient map layer…. wonder if he used the orange choice instead of the B&W? 🙂

  6. Chris Kogut March 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    What spectacular images! Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in your tours, John….

    • JB March 17, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

      We would love to have you along on a tour or workshop! Take a look at the workshop and Tours pages…

  7. Megg March 18, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    Terrific series of images. Wish I had been able to go on this one. It is just amazing to me what a terrific job John and Dan do with their workshops/tours. We all benefit! Thanks for sharing.

    • JB March 19, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Your $20 is in the mail Meggggg. 🙂

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