Archive for January, 2012

Hiking the Panamint Dunes in Death Valley National Park

January 10, 2012

Photographer in the remote Panamint Dunes in Death Valley

The Panamint Dunes are the most remote set of large dunes in the park. They are also the least visited set of dunes in the park. It’s about a 4 mile one way hike and most of the hike is relatively moderate until you reach the sand and uphill on sand begins. You’ll begin to move a little slower this way. A high clearance vehicle is recommended for the dirt road to access the dunes north of highway 190 in the Panamint Valley. The turn off is easy to miss but it’s a few miles east of Panamint Springs and you can easily find it on a park map. At the end of the road there is a small parking area. From here you walk across the alluvial fan towards the dunes, there is somewhat of a foot path but no trail so keep in mind the angle of where you parked the car. A compass should help you find your car if it gets dark and you can’t make out the mountains near telescope peak.

What I liked about this hike, for the most part you walk through mostly creosote the whole way you’ll end up smelling like the Mojave Desert when you get back. On the dunes instead of human footprints you’re more likely to find lots of animal patterns and birds landing on the dunes to eat a bug or two, maybe even a few birds of prey. I’ve seen a golden or two in my travels here. You’ll also encounter a few fly byes of F-18’s from China Lake if you’re lucky. More so during the week, they’ve had control of the airspace before Death Valley was a National Park or Monument so we have to share the skies with them. Best of all you can enjoy one of the off the beaten path places in park with another view of Telescope Peak off in the distance. Snow on the peak give the scene a beautiful contrast to vastly open desert below.

Telescope Peak from the Panamint Dunes in Death Valley

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

My 2011 Best Nature and Landscape Photographs

January 3, 2012

Mojave Green Rattlesnake in the Mojave Desert.

2011 was a great year looking back I ended up in a lot of places I never thought I would of or could of even made it to. It was tough deciding on what to put in this collection with out thinking about the effort it took get some of the images that did not make it onto the page here. Well it looks like I spent a lot of time in the Mojave Desert and Eastern Sierra, these two places have become my favorite over the years. I also made it down into Baja California despite the drug war going down there. With the 4 different trips I never ran into any problems besides getting searched at the check points, thankfully there were no rubber gloves involved there. Also finished the 50 mile backpacking trail along California’s Lost Coast and down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a crazy group of hikers that run with their backpacks on. Couldn’t of done that with out Osprey and Tamron.

In 2011 I processed many images from previous years and only 25% were from 2011 so you’ll see more from 2011 later in other blog posts here. I’d like to to thank you all for taking a moment to view a photograph or two through out the year. See my 2010’s best. View the panoramas larger.

The Goose Neck at Joshua Tree National Park

A student helped me by hitting the shutter on my camera while I demonstrated how I light paint off camera.

Yosemite's Half Dome from the North.

Took quite a few family portraits from Olmstead Point in the short amount of time I was here shooting Half Dome from the north.

New Navajo Falls - Havasu Canyon - Grand Canyon West

Lot’s of changes to Havasu Canyon since the flood a few years back.

UFO Landing on the volcanic playa in Mojave Desert

A UFO that drifted into the Mojave Desert, a little far way from the Eastern Sierra.

Mt Whitney and the Milky Way, Eastern Sierra

This was taken from the Mountaineer’s route on Mt Whitney.

Coastal Dunes along California's Central Coast

Here is one of the largest coastal dune systems in North America, it’s right here on the Central California Coast.

Setting moon on Lone Pine Peak in the Eastern Sierra

This year we had the super moon out, according to science and astronomy it was the closest to the earth in years. Maybe that is why it looked like a ball of fire setting into breaking storm clouds over the Sierra.

Summer monsoon clouds over an emerald pool and waterfall in Baja California, Mexico

Summer monsoon clouds over an emerald pool and waterfall in Baja California, Mexico.

Natural palm oasis in Baja California

Natural palm oasis in Baja California

Morning mist after a night of rain in Joshua Tree National Park

Morning mist after a night of rain in Joshua Tree National Park.

Spring Cottonwoods in the Lower Owens River, Owens Valley

Spring Cottonwoods in the Lower Owens River, Owens Valley.

Death Valley bristlecone pine tree on Telescope Peak

Death Valley has bristlecone pines too, you know.

The Needles Colorado River Mojave Desert

The Needles are such a fantastic desert mountain backdrop not really photograph often by photographers.

Triple Arch at Valley of Fire State Park Nevada

Did a couple of workhsops at Valley of Fire this year, I highly recommend the place!

Did another trip up Half Dome this year with some friends, two of them are on the cables in the shot here. I thought the top being covered in clouds would make it a little ominous.

Christina kayaking down the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert

Christina kayaking down the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert

A lush covered creek along California's Lost Coast trail.

A lush covered creek along California’s Lost Coast trail.

Blooming buckwheat under breaking fog at sunset along California's Lost Coast Trail

looming buckwheat under breaking fog at sunset along California’s Lost Coast Trail

Pancaked lenticular clouds along in the Kern River in the Southern Sierra

Pancaked lenticular clouds along in the Kern River in the Southern Sierra

Mt Whitney above a melting high altitude lake.

A new perspective of iconic Mt. Whitney.

With so many options how do we make a decision on where we’re off to next? I hope you have a great 2012 and make it to all the places you have plans and desires to make it too! May the good light be with you!

Mojave Desert cross roads sign

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,490 other followers