In the earlier post on Zabriskie Point, I was focusing on trying to get across the incredible variation of rock formations, textures and colors in one image. Later, I wanted to try to capture an image that spoke more of Death Valley. I physically moved my vantage point to incorporate the salt laced desert floor beyond the peaks, while coming in tighter on the point.
Just prior to arriving at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley our tour passed this formation that was a rainbow of colors reflecting the copper, borax and other minerals abundant in these mountains. With limited time to shoot, I bracketed 5 shots a stop apart and finished it as an HDR image using Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.
We took a side trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley for the day. My preconceptions of Death Valley were basically shattered as we found a National Park with a huge range of geological formations in addition to its trademark salt flats. With 3.4 million acres of desert and mountains, Death Valley is the country’s largest national park. Just down from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center is Zabriskie Point. With the light, texture and colors in the rocks, I could have shot there all day. It also helped that they were in the middle of a cold spell where it was about 40 degrees versus 120! Not a trip I would make in the summer months.
We were lucky to select Bindlestiff Tours for a day trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas.
Bindlestiff was formed by several guides from other tour companies that wanted to focus on affordable small group adventure tours that would enable them to deliver a quality experience. We can say that they met all of our expectations and more. Our guide, Chris, has 9 years of experience guiding in the Southwest US, Alaska and Australia and was an encyclopedia of information on the area. The trip took approximately 2 hours from the Strip and although there were only 3 couples on our trip, the van could have comfortably taken four. The tour concentrated on the Furnace Rock area, kept a good pace and requests for photo stops were encouraged – although Chris was on target both with his selection of stops as well as the time of day we visited them. Left the Strip at 8:15 am from our hotel and we were back by 5:30 (a tour is unlikely to include sunrise and sunset like a photo tour/workshop but we were really looking for an overview of an area that we had never been before on a limited time schedule). Bindlestiff has single and multi-day tours that leave from Las Vegas to such other nearby areas as the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco. They frequently put together custom tours to include other National Parks as well.
We would use them again without hesitation.
More information can be found by clicking HERE