I was almost at the hotel after a long drive to Death Valley from Los Angeles,when I spotted this scene. It was insanely hot, well over 40 degrees Celsius but Death Valley is such a fascinating place, I had to stop and grab a couple of shots before sunset.
The shot above was moments before the sun dropped behind a cloud. The one below was a little later, as the sky was lit up with the afterglow.
I heartily recommend a trip to Death Valley to anyone. Just a word of warning. Make sure you have a car with air conditioning and that you can handle temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius as it hit 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius the following day).
Several years ago, I spent a couple of weeks on the road in Namibia. This was before digital photography had taken off (still prohibitively expensive), so I was armed with my trust Canon T90 and long lens as I intended to shoot wildlife photography. However, on day 2 of my 15 day trip, whilst I sat in Etosha Park waiting for the animals and lighting conditions to align at the watering hole, my camera electrics suffered a catastrophic meltdown (literally) at the hands of the African midday sun.
All I had left was a £20 Lubitel 6×6 camera, 10 roles of Fuji Provia and my father’s 40 year old light meter As it turned out, that was all I needed. Over a decade later and I still love the analogue nature of these shots, all captured on a camera with a super cheap lens.
Sossusvlei – Namibia
Skeleton Coast 2 – Namibia
Skeleton Coast 1 – Namibia
Open Road 1 – Namibia
Skeleton Coast 3 – Namibia
Recently, after being on a film shoot in California, I had a couple of days spare at the end of my trip and decided to capture some images in Death Valley. I made the classic tourist error of hiring a convertible car, which in the desert, is a bad idea. You want, no, you need to have air conditioning. Being stoic, I chose discomfort and sunburn instead, which turned out well for me.
Anyhow, here are a few shots I took in a day long photography shoot in Death Valley. It effectively documents the arrival of a fierce thunder-storm, gale force winds and a torrential downpour that flooded the roads in multiple places.
The fluffy white clouds formed the perfect backdrop to this ghost town
Thick, heavy cloud was blowing into Death Valley from Nevada to the east.
The sky seemed to lose colour as the heavy, grey clouds gathered overheat, blocking out the intense sun and dropping the temperature some 20 degrees Celsius.
Rain began to fall and there were two separate rainbows in the desert. It was magnificent.
For these last two images, the wind was blowing a gale and I had to cling on to my camera gear to fear that it would be snatched away by the wind.
Forks of lightening spread 180 degrees sideways through the sky as I drove back to my hotel after taking the final session of shots on Zabriskie Point.