Desert Wash and Mountains. Death Valley National Park, California. March 29, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A desert wash cuts though golden layers toward mountains and Death Valley
I made this in another area of Death Valley where, despite its popularity, I have never really quite felt comfortable making photographs. The area is along a loop road that ascends the alluvial fan along the valley edge and then passed across and along some very beautiful washes, giving access to areas of strikingly colored rock formations. The formations are intriguing, but they don’t move be photographically. At least not yet — I won’t rule out the possibility that I’ll someday find a way to “see” them.
However, at one of the most popular stops, when I look the opposite direction, I see this absolutely lovely wash curving gracefully back and forth as it descends through golden rock and toward darker hills before taking a turn and heading down the giant alluvial fan toward the great basin of Death Valley. Late in the day, just before the sun drops beyond tall mountains in the west, there is a brief window of warm, golden light, even on a day like this one with distant clouds in the sky.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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