Death Valley in B&W

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by tanngrisnir3, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Just went to Death Valley this weekend, for a 48 hour, whirlwind trip. Also just got my first, ever, red filter for B&W shots, a Tiffen #29 red, to go over a very dirty (and soon to be replaced) circular polarizer.

    So, then:

    Very possibly the most astoundingly lucky thing I've ever shot.

    Zabriske Point, Death Valley. Just after mid day. Light so unbelievably, insanely bright, I couldn't see my viewfinder.

    I saw a runner, out in the middle of effing NOWHERE, running down a ridge, going to nowhere. Headed down from on high to what's known as The Golden Valley. I had no idea if I could capture the pic, but put my hands around my forehead and my EVF and hoped it would turn out well.

    [​IMG]

    Badwater Basin. Famous. Shot so often that I didn't know how to get something interesting. Big name talent making extraordinary shots of places in the basin I don't know yet.

    So I got what amounts to the isolation of other photographers trying to capture what my little light sensor couldn't.

    [​IMG]

    Sunset creeping in, taken from the same place as above, somewhat later, looking NE from waaaay out in the salt pan.

    [​IMG]

    The Mesquite Dunes, shot rather too late in the morning, groups of photographers everywhere, and I mean everywhere, except when one walks a good 2 miles straight out into the middle of the dunes. Footprints from earlier days, animal tracks, gorgeous nevertheless.

    [​IMG]

    One from the middle of the Mesquite Dunes, where no one had stepped for a few days. Dead trees, coming out of the sand.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, folks, I am humbled by the massive, truly massive nature of Death Valley and it's immediate surroundings.

    Huge beyond huge, and I thought I'd been everywhere worth seeing in CA.

    Newp.

    Oh, yeah: one in color, as well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Real Name:
    Barrie
    Fantastic shots, despite the distant photographers, foot prints et al. I have to admit I normally like "people less" landscapes, but that runner in the 1st photograph sets the area in perspective, in a shot that it would otherwise be impossible to judge the area covered, so a really lucky and fortuitous break.
    Thanks for posting this fascinating series. There are echoes of my several years working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970's when I came to love deserts.

    Barrie
     
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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Those are really fine shots, all of them. I wouldn't have seen the runner if you hadn't mentioned him. At least not until looking at it for a while. I actually like the color one best, but not by much - the dead trees emerging from the sand like fingers from a grave or something are really haunting...

    -Ray
     
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  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    Awesome shots!! Makes you realise how tiny we are!! The LX5 did a fantastic job of capturing the detail in the scene.
     
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  5. Penny

    Penny SC Veteran

    384
    Aug 26, 2010
    Outside Liverpool Uk
    Fantastic captures all of them; yes I did like the colour one a bit more but I think the scene itself does look better in colour; Have to admit had to go back and look for the runner but excellent shots.
     
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  6. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Real Name:
    olli
    Excellent shots that work well in B&W and colour. Last two are outstanding. Love the dead vegetation in the foreground in the last B&W and the fantasticc sky and muted colours of the last one.
     
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  7. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Thanks!

    I'm really happy w/the quality of the shots it can take, and will process all of the ones I posted here in RAW through LR3 tonight to see how they look after a more serious treatment.

    The only thing that's really bugging me is that the EVF that one can get, and I did, STILL fails in extreme, noonday light, because I have to cup my hands around it, and then work the shutter/aperture dial and release button with my pinky.

    I looked through my g/f's 5d and BAM! No problems seeing exactly what she shot whatsoever. Actually seeing, with no issues, what one is shooting is something I underestimated the value of, having learned on a P&S.

    I'm so jealous I'm getting a 7d in a bit.
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Tann, I echo everyone else - a wonderful series! Your use of this camera for landscapes is very impressive. My two favorites are the Golden Valley dune runner and your final color one.

    If you haven't already made up your mind about which new camera you want, you might want to check out the NEX5. I hear tell it has an astounding "sunny mode" screen view - one that I've been told will knock my socks off and that the screen would enable even me to focus manually - plus it has that great sensor and you get interchangeable lenses without weight.
     
  9. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
  10. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Thanks!

    I'm heavily leaning towards the 7d because she's (my g/f) got several thousand dollars worth of lenses already (with more to come, I fear) and I could avoid paying to duplicate the functionality that she's already got.

    I was leaning towards a GH2, but then when I saw what it would cost to basically buy the same things she already has, it just didn't make financial sense, with a body-only 7d available, believe it or not, from Best Buy for like $1425
     
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  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Gotcha, Taann. This sounds as though it's a long term relationship...shared lenses, cameras...who knows what's next.:biggrin:
     
  12. Nice shot

    Death Valley really looks great in black and white.
     
  13. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Death Valley is an amazing place and you certainly captured the spirit of the place. I really like DV in B&W and the LX5 did a super job. There is so much there that I think one could spend near a lifetime and not get everything! Each time, I've gone I seem to plan on a specific area and stick close..the ghost town of Ryolite is a favorite, as are the kilns..sand dunes and the famous cornfield. I recently saw a photograph of the shore of the ancient lake bed that is now DV...gone for millions of years, the shoreline is clearly visible today!

    Great shots! And thanks for sharing. You certainly get out and about! Thanks Karen
     
  14. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    Thanks! Just wait til we get back from a VERY snowy Yosemite this weekend. My g/f is a two time selectee/finalist at the Yosemite Renaissance Photography of this year, and the kick-off gala is this Friday.

    Just got some ice cleats to get up around lower Yosemite Falls.
     
  15. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 SC Regular

    137
    Nov 11, 2010
    ACK!

    I'm not allowed to touch the 5D, so actual camera sharing ain't happening.
     
  16. Karen Cole

    Karen Cole SC Regular

    92
    Sep 2, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Congrats! On the GF's photography skills..what a great place to spend the weekend! Can't wait to see your shots! I was just there in Jan, only a few inches of old snow on the ground and the weather was warm..been there when cold and snowing and freezing..you'll need those ice cleats! Good thing you have the LX5 and not the 5D..so much easier to carry around.. especially when slippery is involved. Get some awesome shots!