Death Valley 2: Zabriskie Point

Morning of day two – I fancy the sunrise on the desert, but W stays in bed: no film to make, so he has a well-deserved sleep-in after doing all the driving yesterday. I am not usually a morning person, so the “golden hour” at sparrow fart usually sees me firmly snuggled into the bed-sheets awaiting my daily dose of caffeine to magically appear on the bedside table.20140403-IMG_1165-1020140403-IMG_1007-49

But today I join the photographer line-up at Zabriskie Point; the soft dawn light revealing the canyons’ subtle shades of colour.20140403-IMG_1135-18



The mountains across from us wait for the sun to clear the peaks behind us, and day slowly creeps towards us across the valley.

A breeze is blowing, almost cold, but my azure fuzzy keeps me warm enough. I am going to try my hand at HDR photography; taking three different exposures of the same thing, and then blending them together to make a high dynamic range photo, supposedly resulting in a deeper more intense image. It demands a tripod. My previous attempts with hand held camera have resulted in blended but blurry images  – almost right but no prizes for those, unless I put them up as abstracts. We’ll see how these come out.


Some of the photographers venture off down the slopes, I wonder -where are they going, and why don’t they have water with them? Having knowledge of what the Aussie desert does to people, I guess I am the wiser – anyway, I have a husband to pick up, so no venturing forth for me.

Back to the ranch to pick up W. A hearty breakfast at the cafe at the ranch, and off we tootle to some of the attractions of the area.


Badwater flats – where the only water is salt and the only thing living here is a strange type of snail. I am looking for your common or garden variety shelled snail, so I don’t spot them at first. These are shell-less, and I guess that makes sense – they’d boil unless their shells had air-conditioning. The French would have eaten them all by now – precooked and don’t have to add salt.


Artist’s drive and Artist’s Palette where the rock faces are the most extraordinary combination of colours,


The Devil’s golf course – dried out, cracked salty mud where you’d be lucky to find the tee.20140403-IMG_1063-1120140403-IMG_1221-43


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