An Iconic Location and the Dunes
All our days are early. That’s the nature of a photo workshop, but after morning hugs, we took off for one of Death Valley’s iconic locations, Zabriskie Point.
We weren’t first, but close to it. The sky already was full of promise, and there was a pre-dawn glow on the far mountains across the valley.
People had a chance to find their spots and test this view or that. It was fun to see them helping one another, and Arnie and I checked in to make sure they didn’t need help. Some did; some didn’t.
I love the patterns here. Each year we are here, we try to do them differently.
The sun came and went, but there was promise of another showing, and when it did, the magic happened. Natural fill light made the shadow sides glow.
After a somewhat leisurely breakfast full of conversation, we left to return to the hotel for imaging and critiques.
It was fun to see the participants’ work improving daily, even with those who have been with us before.
The afternoon location was out on the Dunes. The sand storm had smoothed over some of the footprints, but there are always more. It is such a compelling place and so full of photographic opportunities.
As I was helping participants, I found a different scene I had not encountered before here in a manner that pleased me. I always seek simple compositions wherever possible. Call it the old KISS, less-is-more approach.
The banner above was another.
The light faded, and we all found places where we wanted to do night shots. The participants had learned that it is often productive to follow the instructors, and Arnie and I had found different locations. We helped everyone with settings, monitoring our own to tell them where we were.
The night sky was gorgeously clear. The Pleiades, one of my favorite constellations, was comfortingly there. As a child, I called it the Mini-Dipper. Such a dense cluster, it almost always shows up well.
We light-painted a bit on the salt/mud pans in front, checking the results, and trying again until we were all satisfied.
It was a good way to end the shoot, and it was early compared to many of our evenings.
Drinks, supper, and imaging, followed by critiques made for a good end to the day.
Next: Day 5, Back to the Dunes
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