Desert Dawn, Storm Clouds

Desert Dawn, Storm Clouds
Desert Dawn, Storm Clouds

Desert Dawn, Storm Clouds. Death Valley National Park, California. April 2, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Layers of dawn clouds from an arriving storm above receding mountains and valleys, Death Valley

This photograph comes from just about two months ago, during a photography visit to Death Valley National Park. It has been a very strange weather year in California, and the strangeness continued on this trip. In early April, almost anything can happen with Death Valley weather… and much of that “anything” occurred while we were there. On this day, the main attractions was… snow!

The night before I had decided that it looked like there might be the potential for interesting light up high in the mountains to the west of the Valley. My hope was that the clouds of an incoming weather front my just be making their appearance over the mountains, but leaving the sky to the east mostly clear or perhaps with some interesting clouds around dawn. We were up well before first light and on the road. As it began to be light we could see that there were a lot of clouds coming in, and when we arrived at our intended shooting location the clouds were closing in quickly. I guessed that there might, just maybe, be a brief window of light as the sun rose above mountains on the far side of the valley and, for an instant, might shine light horizontally above the mountains and below the clouds. It didn’t quite happen. (And you can’t always count on the good light. You have to be out there in some light failures if you hope to be there enough to get the miraculous successes, too.) The best we got was a brief and fiery illumination of the undersides of these clouds, above darker lower clouds and the shadowed peaks of the Amargosa Range.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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