A few weeks ago I’ve been on holiday in Death Valley, one of the most popular places among photographers. I now understand why! Death Valley is a fantastic area for taking photographs. I thought it could be boring with all that sand and desert but there are so many different areas and views, you can’t really get annoyed and miss some beautiful shots.
One of the places I’ve liked the most in Death Valley is Racetrack, a peaceful valley where you can see a unique natural phenomenon: the moving stones. Nothing fancy here because you can’t really see rocks moving in front of you but you can follow the trails that will point you to the closest rock that the wind moved somewhere else during the night when the surface gets iced. As the area is full of rocks and lines you want to bring with you an ultra wide lens to emphasize the foreground and the leading line created by the rock. You can see an example of what I’m talking about below. I shot this picture with a Fuji X-T10 and a Rokinon 12mm lens.
As you can see the result is a unique frame which will leave the viewer curious and shocked at the same time. To reach racetrack be sure to have a 4×4 car. I rented a Toyota Rav4 which served me very well! You can find the exact location of this place in the map below.
Another beautiful spot in Death Valley you don’t want to miss is Zabriskie Point. This is another unique place where you can admire some fantastic cliffs the nature has designed. I’ve never seen something similar and I can assure you that being there (and in Racetrack) is something you want to experience at least once in your life. You can see a picture I took in Zabriskie point below. Luckily there was a badass guy looking at the cliffs which add a sense of scale in the shot. I’ve merged five different shots to make a panorama. I suggest you to bring a wide angle lens. You really want to capture the beauty of this fantastic place. I’ve used an 18mm fuji lens to take the pictures and Lightroom to make a pano.
To be sure to reach the location I’ll leave you the exact location of this place which is one of the most popular spots in Death Valley.
Finally I really enjoyed Mesquite Sand Dunes. Here you can really feel the desert. Leave the car at the parking lot and have fun walking (and running like a crazy baby) on the dunes. It could be tough to hike here but you won’t forget this place. Colors are amazing but the sand is particularly nice when the sun is low. The golden color of the dunes is even better when the light is soft and the shadows are long and nice. The blue of the sky then gives a fantastic contrast to the pictures. You can see a picture I’ve taken in this beautiful place below. I’ve used the 18mm fuji lens here which is my walkaround and favorite lens.
Check the location of this area in the map below.
If you want to really experience Death Valley be sure to stay there for at least two or three days. I’ve spent a day in the valley and another one in Racetrack which is a difficult place to reach. Bring with you a lot of water and comfortable clothes. I’ve been there in March and the temperature was about 20/25 celsius degrees.
I hope you’ll find these tips useful. If you think I’ve missed something please leave a comment below to make this article better.
You can also check my death valley art for sale on FineArtAmerica.