Tag Archives: Death Valley

Death Valley #3

Another group of images from Death Valley and The Alabama Hills.  The first image is unique, in that it includes vegetation that normally try to avoid.


The next image, as pointed out by a viewer on Facebook, has a finger in the right side of the sky.  As I was making this image, I was feeling the presence of my friend Cindy who has passed away on this day. Now I see Cindy in this image telling me, all is well. This image is very outside of my comfort zone. I was shooting directly into the sun. But, I had to go with with I was feeling and ended up with a number of images that I like.  This is just one. 

 

The image below has become another favorite.  Love the bright shape at the top right.  Love the hint of light and details to the left of that…

Another with lots of tones which I am very much drawn to.

Posted in Abstract, B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley Also tagged , , , |

Death Valley #2

Below you will find more images from my recent trip to Death Valley.  Enjoy!  Oh and remember to see the images bigger, click on them

The first image is from The Alabama Hills in Lone Pine CA.  I was drawn to the texture on the background rock in shadow and then the gentle curve of the lighter rock in the foreground.

The next image is a result of the foreground and background being in deep shadow due to the clouds.  The sun was lighting up the middle ground.  This composition screamed to be photographed!

The Image below was made in the Salt Basin in Death Valley.  It is the rain water seeping onto the valley floor.  We could see it growing inch by inch…. very slowly.

 

Posted in Abstract, B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley, Workshop Also tagged , , , |

Fire in the Sky

_DSF0393-Edit-EditThis is the scene that greeted us as we arrived for a morning shoot in Death Valley. This was one of the first images I made after running down the hill to where the water rivulets were. This was made well before the sun rose over the ridge behind us. It was nearly dark as we stumbled down the hill. I’ve chosen to keep the foreground dark as this is what I remember seeing. The intense color is what caught my eye and what I wanted to portray here.

Posted in Death Valley

Dune Abstract

Another favorite abstract from Mesquite Flat Dunes. If you’d like to see more of my Death Valley work, check out my dedicated folio here.

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Posted in Abstract, B&W, Death Valley Also tagged , , |

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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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Posted in Death Valley Also tagged , |

Life Reflected in the Valley of Death

On this morning, Death Valley was alive, no sign of death anywhere. Quite the opposite in fact. Signs of life everywhere, causing me to dance a happy dance. And dance I did!

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fresh rain in the desert
mirrors formed
life reflected in the valley of death

Posted in Death Valley, Landscape

Love Affair with the Dunes – Topaz B&W sale

I’ll admit, I have a love affair with the dunes. On our recent tour, we took the group out twice. A few of us found this particular scene and knew it would be a winner. (click to enlarge) 

 

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If you’re interested in this type of dune photography, I would suggest you bring a long lens. For this I used my Nikon 70-200 and 1.7x teleconverter. Next time, I hope to have the new Fuji super zoom which will give me even more reach. If you have a 100-400 or something similar, that would be a great choice.

Starting tomorrow, Topaz will be offering a $20 discount on their excellent B&W Effects.  For the rest of the month it will be just $39.99.  Click this link and use the code MARBW

Posted in B&W Also tagged , , , , , |

New Tour Announced for 2015!

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Due to popular demand, we are heading back to the Eastern Sierra region to do another B&W focused tour with Chuck Kimmerle. I know, I know, why would a legend like Chuck want to hang out with the rag tag duo of Barclay and Sniffin?  Good question, I don’t know, but we are thrilled that he has agreed to join us again. We will start in Las Vegas as this is a great place to fly into. We will photograph the wonderful Gehry building on the outskirts of town, then spend a few days in the Valley of Fire and finish in Death Valley for a few runs into the Mesquite Flat Dunes. Details can be found on the TOURS page.  If you have interest in this tour, I would encourage you to sign up quickly. It will fill up fast.  

We will be announcing the rest of our 2015 tours very shortly so stay tuned or sign up to receive notice of any blog post I make.  You can do this on the blog home page at the bottom right.

The blog image is from our trip this past February in the dunes.

 

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Posted in Chuck Kimmerle, Tour Also tagged , , , , , |

One last roll in the dunes

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I can’t help it, one more from the Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley.  How I love these dunes!

I’ve been spending more and more time with the Perfectly Clear plug-in, trying it on all of my images just to see what I get.  Never tried it on B&W but did on this.  I felt I had it just right, however, Perfectly Clear gave it another bit of “POP” that I really liked.  It was just a tad heavy handed, so I simply created a layer to put it on and then blended it at about 60% opacity.  If you would like to try Perfectly Clear or save 20% just click this link.

Posted in B&W, Death Valley Also tagged , , |

What is the subject?

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As we traveled from Trona to Death Valley, I saw this sky developing.  The problem was finding a foreground worthy of putting with it.   We drove for a few miles and I finally decided that the foreground was not near as important as the sky.  The sky was the subject.  As such I filled the frame with it and let the small strip of land give it a base.  Oft times I’ll find myself suggesting this concept to those on a workshop.  Ask yourself, what is the subject and if it is the sky, make it so.  Sure it would have been nice to have an old abandoned building, rusted car or some other great subject to put with the great sky, but I’m okay with this just the way it is.

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Posted in B&W Also tagged , , |