I feel honored to have been asked by a large corporation to create some artistic views of Death Valley. I shot for an entire day, starting early before sunrise and going until past dark shooting a variety of locations and places. I was accompanied by the company’s rep who took me to places I never would have been able to go without his unrestricted access to various areas off limits to everyone else.
I created more images than I expected during this full day of commercial landscape shooting, and even shot a number of bonus images – color infrared – which looked amazing and refreshingly interesting, especially in the middle of the day.
We started the morning around 5:30 am creating panoramas before sunrise.
I found out that this was the spot where U2 shot their famous “Joshua Tree” album cover. After getting a number of images, the sun began to rise quite quickly behind us. I really like this image with the tops of the mountains in the distance being lit by the rising sun, and the various layers of color it created.
And here is that area in full morning sun.
In some areas there are some beautiful stretches of cracked earth. I liked these as abstract closeups.
A lot of the areas required some vigorous hiking. At the end of the day I had logged a number of miles plus some big elevation changes on my watch – much more than expected. And these scenes we passed even as we hiked, were breathtakingly beautiful.
Here, from one of my favorite lookouts, you could see a number of various rock formations which created bands of color and variety.
This was also during the “super bloom” due to an earlier flood which caused a number of flowers to bloom, something very unusual for this area of the country.
And in the more “civilized” areas of Death Valley, there’s some cool structures like this “Twenty-mule team” train, all part of the history of the Twenty-Mule Team Borax cleaner. I learned quite a bit about the history of the area as we drove around and hiked through the desert. It is all so much more interesting to me now, knowing some of the history of the place.
This particular train is surrounded by a fence to keep people from climbing on it, so some creative angles were necessary.
And shooting it in color infrared also gave me some very unique ways of showcasing this local feature.
Before shooting the Furnace Creek Resort up close, I wanted to get a long, distance shot of it to show how secluded it is, how tucked away in the middle of the desert it really is.
Here it is up close. It was built on the site of a natural hot spring, and was famous for being the Hollywood hotspot getaway for celebrities. It’s an oasis in the middle of the hot desert.
They have a beautiful pool, and here is the same angle but shot in color infrared.
As the day neared an end, we re-hit some of our favorite spots to shoot them in completely different light. I love these vast landscapes, and the vibrant colors created by the evening sun.
And here are a few more color infrared images from mid-day.
And a few color infrared images created at sunset from a few of our favorite spots.
This image below is one of my favorite color infrared images from the entire trip. It shows the sun setting in the distance, but the variety of colors created by infrared makes this such an interesting image to me.
It was a very long day of shooting, but I like to make sure that people get more for their money than they expect. And I was surprised how many locations we were able to shoot and how many images I shot during this full day. It was far more than I expected which was a big bonus to the company. With so many beautiful images, I’m only sharing a small percentage here, and it was hard picking images to showcase. But I am grateful for the experience to shoot this job because I love the outdoors and I love creative photographic challenges, and making beautiful landscapes and images that people will appreciate for many years to come.
If your company needs some great photographs, give me a call. 801-728-3317. I’d love to chat with you about your photographic needs to see how I can help you out.
And until next time America.