Watch your back

Every once in a while we find ourselves at just the right place when Mother Nature delivers something special. When that happens, the best thing to do is stay calm and keep your head on a swivel. In January my Death Valley workshop group had one of those moments. We’d walked almost smile to get out to dunes that hadn’t been trampled, then waited while a…

Improve your relationships

Following a nice sunrise on the dunes, my workshop group had started the undulating trek back to the cars. While we hadn’t gotten a lot of color that morning, we’d been blessed with virgin sand beneath a translucent layer of clouds. Quite content with the soft, low contrast light for most of the morning, right toward the end the sun snuck through to deliver high contrast, light-skimming drama that provided about five minutes of…

Sandstorm

*    *    *    * Read my February 9 blog for more about this amazing evening on the dunes. ____________________ For nearly an hour my workshop group played in relative peace on the dunes, but about fifteen minutes before sunset the clouds dropped and our window of calm slammed shut. Just like that sand was everywhere, invading every camera, clothing, and exposed body…

Pure as the driven sand

February 2013 Sand dunes’ graceful curves and intricate textures move and intrigue the eye, and few things better convey nature’s purity than a windswept dune. Ironically, it’s the dunes’ aesthetic magnetism that hastens their demise as photographic subjects—their fragile sand, so easily sculpted by Mother Nature’s fickle winds, is hopelessly marred by any contact with the humans drawn by their beauty. While Death Valley…

Send in the clouds

Blue skies and bright sunshine are great for tourists, but they can ruin a photographer’s day. Granted, warm sunrise and sunset light casts dramatic shadows and warms the landscape for a few quiet minutes at the beginning and end of the day. But when the sun is up, the light is harsh and tourists swarm like ants to a picnic. On the other hand,…