Posts Tagged ‘mojave desert’

Arch on the Ledge at Valley of Fire

December 26, 2013

Newly discovered arch at Valley of Fire

Newly discovered arch at Valley of Fire

A beautiful wind sculpted arch with a landscape view of the Valley of Fire. I’ll call this a new arch since it’s not in any of the guide books. Scooted across a precarious ledge with a pair sticky shoes to get underneath the arch for a better view. I’ve got a few more shots of other arches not in any of the guide books that I’ll share in the future…

My 2012 Best & Unique Landscape Photographs

January 8, 2013

2012 was a great year and I hope you all enjoyed it. I had a some photos installed in the McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada (Food Court area) and an interpretive night pollution display set up in the newly remodeled visitor center in Death Valley. I’ll be getting married and having my first child in 2013 so I know it will be another great year. Looking forward to seeing all the 2012′s best from Jim Goldstein’s yearly list! I hope your 2013 is as great as you make it!!

A hidden sea arch along California's Central Coast
A hidden sea arch along California’s Central Coast

Cholla cactus garden illuminated by a spectacular desert sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. The cholla cactus is famous for it's dramatic way of catching backlight from the sun for hours after the sun has risen and hours before it sets as well. Don't get too close or they may stick to you.
Cholla cactus garden illuminated by a spectacular desert sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. The cholla cactus is famous for it’s dramatic way of catching backlight from the sun for hours after the sun has risen and hours before it sets as well. Don’t get too close or they may stick to you.

Wild yucca bloom in the Mojave Nature Preserve.  It's a beautiful place most photographers skip out on.
Wild yucca bloom in the Mojave Nature Preserve. It’s a beautiful place most photographers skip out on.

Death Valley Northwest Section
Death Valley Northwest Section

Death Valley Coyote Silhouettes
Death Valley Coyote Silhouettes

Death Valley Racetrack
Death Valley Racetrack Backlit Lenticular Cloud

Canyoneering in Death Valley
Canyoneering in Death Valley

Watchman Virgin River in the fall at Zion National Park
Watchman Virgin River in the fall at Zion National Park

Fiery sunsest through Elephant Rock Arch at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada's Mojave Desert.
Fiery sunsest through Elephant Rock Arch at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada’s Mojave Desert.

Eastern Sierra in Fall
Eastern Sierra in Fall

More Eastern Sierra in Fall
More Eastern Sierra in Fall

El Capitan and the Merced in Fall, Yosemite National Park
El Capitan and the Merced in Fall, Yosemite National Park

Canyoneer makes a 40ft jump in a very remote section of Jump Canyon in Sierra Nevada Foothills of California
Canyoneer makes a 40ft jump in a very remote section of Jump Canyon in Sierra Nevada Foothills of California

One of Zion's Canyons filled with fall color.
One of Zion’s Canyons filled with fall color.

Beautiful lone cottonwood tree on the Virgin River in Zion National Park
Beautiful lone cottonwood tree on the Virgin River in Zion National Park

Repelling a waterfall in Jump Canyon in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California.
Repelling a waterfall in Jump Canyon in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California.

Canyon Intersection - Zion
Canyon Intersection – Zion

Thunderstorm above an arch in Joshua Tree National Park
Thunderstorm above an arch in Joshua Tree National Park

Sea Arch in Big Sur, California Central Coast
Sea Arch in Big Sur, California Central Coast

S Curve at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada
S Curve at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

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

New Arch in the Mojave Desert

July 11, 2012

New arch in the Mojave Desert

A small arch in Red Rock Canyon State Park, California. This small overlooks the Mojave Desert from the cliffs above the desert floor. A clearing storm brings soft light to the El Paso Mountain Range in the background. This was only a little over an hour drive from the Northern Los Angeles area. There are plenty of arches that haven’t been photographed yet, so for the curious keep exploring.. .

See it larger here.

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

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

2 New Proposed Monuments in the Mojave Desert

January 27, 2011

There could be 2 new desert monuments in the Mojave Desert if a proposed bill, the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 is passed.
Here is a little bit of info on how much land is out there and how much is needed for solar projects.

• 23 million acres of California Desert.
• 125,000 acres is needed for an ambitious solar power goal.
• There are 350,000 acres are being looked at by the BLM and are not affected by the Desert Protection Act of 2010.

Green Dilemma: Solar Power in the Mojave from Peter Rhalter on Vimeo.

The desert resembling a Hawaiin Island in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
The desert resembling a Hawaiin Island in proposed Mojave National Trails Monument

A large cinder cone in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
A large volcanic cinder cone in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument

An old mining relic along Route 66 in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
An old mining relic along Route 66 in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument

A map to the proposed areas.

More info can be found here on Diane Feinstein’s site and the campaign for the California Desert.

Please help protect the desert’s vital life and resources. Take Action!

Mojave desert tortiose shell and wildflowers.

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

Dunes of the Mojave Desert

August 2, 2010

Mojave Desert Dunes

If someone were to mention dunes in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley’s Mesquite Dunes at Stovepipe Wells would come mind first for some people. The Kelso Dunes might even come up. There are more dunes out there that in lie outside of the National Park and Monument boundaries, you just need to look a little further. With all the dry lakes out there the sand has to blow somewhere.

Dunes in black and white

Some dunes fields are extremely small and others such as what is shown here are significant in size. Many dunes are similiar and usually can be identified with the mountain back drop if there is one.

OHV use in designated wilderness

These dunes are designated wilderness where people may seek desert desolation but I have come across people ignoring the desigated wilderness boundaries with OHV use. I can imagine how dificult it can be trying to protect something out in the middle of nowhere. It would be nice if there were signs posted with violation fee amounts in all parking areas near wilderness areas.

Mojave desert dunes

Frost covered dunes in the Mojave Desert

Frost covers the dunes during winter in the early morning. Sometimes solitude comes with no foot prints.

Moon and dune

If anyone is interested in a private or small group workshop between the late fall and early spring please email me via the contact page on my website.

Photographing the Kelso Dunes

May 25, 2010

A view looking north towards the Old Dad Mountains

If you’re looking for a little more seclusion then the more visited dunes of Death Valley try the Kelso Dunes. Although just like the dunes at Stovepipe Wells there is main walkway from a parking lot area but you can leave this freeway of foot prints and veer off to the east or west and truly lose yourself into the void of 45 square miles of dune field, the largest in the Mojave Desert. Slide down from the top of 650ft high Star Dune on a hot day and listen to the odd booming vibrations. Make sure you are gassed up and have plenty of water and snacks it’s one of those out of the way special places. There is a small coffee shop inside the Kelso Depot but it’s not always open so make sure you check before you plan on stopping there. If you have time the Mojave Preserve is an under appreciated place in the desert with many other unique photo opportunities.

Seeing creatively in the field, 2006
From a first visit back in 2006.

Equipment needed: The bare necessities and whatever else you may have. Photography is about seeing creatively not about what you have in the bag.

Getting there: The Kelso Dunes are located between I -40 and I – 15 towards the Eastern California border. Kelbaker rd connects to the 2 freeways, it will take you there. There is sign for the dunes a few miles south of Kelso. From here a dirt road with the dunes in view will take you 3 miles to the parking lot.

An aerial view of the Kelso Dunes.
The extensive view of the dune field from the air.

Steve’s Mojave Desert gallery
Steve’s workshop listings

Red Rock Canyon State Park California

December 19, 2009

Wild canyons just over the horizon.

Most of us Los Angelinos drive right through the Red Rock Canyon area on our way to the Eastern Sierra, I’m guilty of it myself. It’s designated a state park for a reason, it hosts beautiful cliffs and spectacular rock formations. Even hoo doos you would usually find in Utah. You can find crumbling sand castle formations and other geology here from another world just by driving off highway 14 and onto one of many side roads. When the high desert catches it’s seasonal cold spells, you can often find snow gracing the red canyon walls and after wet winters, the park’s floral displays are stunning.

Even outside the park boundaries you will find wild looking formations that make you wonder if you are still in California. It’s not a wonder that this beautiful desert enviroment was an establishment in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.

You can even find arches and mines, any photographer shouldn’t have a hard time at finding something to photograph in this beautiful desert park.

A lantern's glow lights up a volcanic arch above one the cliffs just outside the park.


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