San Diego Natural History Museum - Death Valley - by DaveWyman
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Desert Dandelion, Near Trona
On our return from Death Valley, portions of the desert were awash with color. These wildflowers were alongside the road a few miles from the town of Trona (which is also the name given to a sodium carbonate mineral (sometimes called "potash").
Mud Hills, Zabriskie Point
Strong sidelight drew our attention at Zabriskie Point.
View of Death Valley from Zabriskie Point
Our final morning took us to the famed Zabriskie Point (named for borax mining tycoon Christian Zabriskie).
True Love at Dinner
Exiting Titus Canyon
Steep walls rise hundreds of feet above the narrow road following an ancient stream bed through Titus Canyon. Good thing this is a one way road.
Wildflower
Rockfall, Titus Canyon
Why were these boulders so sharp sided? Answer: they have yet to be tumbled downstream in flash floods, and the effects of weathering - freezing, thawing - have not had a chance to take hold yet. There's plenty of time....
Moon, Column in Titus Canyon
I confess I cheated - I moved the moon from a position far to the right, outside the frame of this photo, to a position much closer to the rock column.
Indian Paint Brush
Approaching Titus Canyon
Train Depot - Rhyolite
A chain link fence surrounds the old building; we poked our cameras those an opening.

At one time Rhyolite, an old gold mining town, boasted a population of more than 10,000 people.
Bottle House, Rhyolite
An old house, dating to early in the 20th Century, sits unoccupied (but protected) at Rhyolite.

A relatively large f/stop meant only a small portion of the photograph would be in focus.
Ghosts at Rhyolite Ghost Town
Ghostly Cyclist
An outdoor sculpture garden has grown over the years on the outskirts of the ghost town of Rhyolite. A low angle let me crop out a car and some people in the background.
Lizard at Salt Creek
Desert Pupfish - Cyprinodon salinus - at Salt Creek
A 200mm macro lens brought me close to this little fish at the Salt Creek oasis. It's fresh water ancestors began to evolve 10,000 years ago, as Lake Manley began to dry out, shrinking in size and learning to tolerate high concentrations of salt.
Shadows and Texture on the Dunes
Dune Texture
Nature often provides leading lines that take us right into a photograph.
Dawn on the Dunes
Kent
Dawn Photographers
The sun rose over the sand dunes. It was a good time to experiment with silhouettes.
Cynthia in Silhouette
Trying to photograph through the dust at Dante's View - 6,000 feet above the valley floor.
Dusty Dantes View.
A massive wind storm kicked up dust in the northern portions of Death Valley.
Mushroom Rock
Mushroom Rock is an odd-shaped piece of basalt. About a third of it collapsed many years ago, leading the park service to take away the interpretive sign and parking lot. It's located a few miles south of Furnace Creek, on the east side of the road.
Mick
At Artist Palette
A Sense of Scale Along Artist Palette Road
Some of our photographs explore the terrain near Artist Palette.
Artist Palette Road
The line of the road leads into the landscape - the red car adds a sense of scale.
Devils Golf Course Detail
The Devils Golf Course
Pressure Ridge on the Salt Flats Near Badwater
In a way this is an abstract image - there's not much context around it to tell us what we're looking at or how large what we're looking at is.

Note the horizon line - it's out of kilter, which is the give-away that I used a wide-angle lens on a zoom. This is correctable with programs like Photoshop.
Photographer at the Visitor Center
Desert Five Spot
We found these beautiful wildflowers at the Visitor Center. I used the flash on my camera to light up the interior.
Field of Flowers Near Mustard Canyon
Standing back from them gave us a nice overview of the late spring wildflowers.
Wagon Wheels
Another example of showing more with less - I found it unnecessary to show the entire 29 Mule Team Wagon (including surrounding fences and photographers).
Remains of Borax Workers Cabin - Near Mustard Canyon
Sometimes, as we learned, showing less shows more.
Backlit Hairy Stems
Woody Bottle Washer
Phacelia?
I could use some help with this one - what is it?

Moving in with a telephoto lens (with a +2 filter) threw the background almost completely out of focus.
Sunflower with Insect
Desert Sunflower
Backlit - flower positioned in the viewfinder so that the background was dark.
Vanishing Point
At the original Stovepipe Wells, we turned back to face the dirt road leading to the highway. We knew the line of the dirt road was a good way to lead our eyes to the eroded landscape in the background.
Water! At the Original Stovepipe Wells
We poured some water through the top of the old pump - our volunteer pourer had to move quickly out of the way.
Caterpiller
Trumpet Plant
Sand Dunes and Creosote
Creosote, sand and top-lit shadows create textures and patterns and a little color.
Sand Dunes
Awesome shadows played over the face of the dunes as the sun made ready to hide behind the western mountains. It was a good time for photographs.
Dan and Gretchen on the Dunes
The sun was high, so no shadows - but human subjects in such rugged terrain can add interest to the image.
Near and Far
Focusing on the creosote in the foreground meant losing the background. Sometimes this is an effective photographic technique.
Giant Dune
The grains of sand are fragile, easily moved by the wind. Yet the wind brought the sand, and the shape of the dunes never changes.

Our group enjoyed the shape-defining shadows of late afternoon that accompanied the low angle of the sun.
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