Death Valley – 2 minute window

On the drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles we took a small detour and headed through Death Valley National Park. What an amazing place. Just as we arrived in the park the rain began to absolutely bucket down, here I was thinking it didn’t really rain in Death Valley.  

The storms that had been battering the Californian coastline had managed to head further east into and beyond Death Valley.  From the time we arrived in the park (noon) until just before sundown it had been continually raining and the skies were grey and dull. Then suddenly in a matter of a few minutes things started to get interesting, the skies began to open a little and I could see light hitting sections of the surrounding mountains. Then after another minute or so it opened right up and a rainbow appeared……. It was one of those ‘get set the f*#k up and take a shot of something’ type of situations…… I quickly pulled over, sprung out of the car, ran around like a nutter trying to find something, anything to throw in the foreground

 WOW! a shitty little stream of runoff – you’ll do!

 The whole show was only a matter of minutes so I had to make do with what I was given.

Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule and were only in Death Valley for less than 24hours. It is the type of place you could easily spend a week or so shooting as there is so much on offer. Hopefully I will get back there sometime.


14 responses

  1. Clint Baker

    very very nice mate….. that mountain side look crisp as!!! well done…

    March 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

  2. At least you have a shot you can look back on … Love the colours .. not sure about the foreground stream but as you said, shit happens and you did what you could to capture something …

    March 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

  3. Pretty good for a rushed job, I quite like the foreground it creates a nice contrast.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  4. yeah man Great shot for the circumstances!

    March 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  5. `The decisive moment` is what I`ve just learned about at uni. you`ve got to take your chances when they present, awesome shot mate.

    March 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    • Thanks Michael, good to hear your learning mate 🙂

      March 24, 2010 at 9:53 pm

  6. truenorthmark

    I can just picture the scene Luke and have had a few situations kinda like it and some where i have failed the mission….last night being the most recent of failed missions as the light got away from me.

    But I really like this image…there is a lot going on and you have done really well. The colours are great!

    March 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    • Yeah, it can get pretty damn frustrating at times. It all happens wayyyy to fast.

      March 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  7. the stream is dismal – exactly what i would expect in a location like this. it may not be a pretty to a photographer’s eye and it doesn’t have to be. a brutal scene Luke – i rate it.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    • Thanks Cain. I have to agree with your statement.

      March 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm

  8. it is busy, but I still like it, the colour and drama is very interesting. Ah to have more time, at least your batteries weren’t flat like mine the other day. Bloody Phase one body!!

    March 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

  9. Cracker shot mate, beautiful and crisp.

    March 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

  10. Tony Middleton

    Yep sometimes you have no time to get that perfect composition that you may want as time,light and nature waits for no one.So it’s being able to make the most of what you have, just like you have done here. Fantastic image of a special event/moment 🙂

    April 17, 2010 at 2:59 am

  11. Death Valley is so incredible, one of my very favourite spots during my recent two months in the Southwest. This is so dramatic and cool, good find with the stream. I had one day there with a sand storm, always good to get dramatic conditions in a desert to make the light interesting. Great image, love it!

    June 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

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