Doug Beezley Photography | Death Valley National Park - February 2017 & February 2018

I did something I normally don't do. I went to Death Valley to photograph it because I didn't want to go there. Makes perfect sense, right? Let me explain.

I've never been interested in photographing Death Valley because it just didn't seem to have anything I considered photographically interesting or even just plain interesting. I had always viewed it in almost monochromatic terms with only a few geological facts of interest (lowest spot in North America, hottest recorded temperature, etc). I saw it as utterly charmless and mostly boring. Talk about WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! I could have easily stretched my five day stay into fifteen.

So, why go there when I didn't want to go? I have a very strong interest in wanting to improve my photographic skills and reasoned that if I could go to a place like Death Valley that held no interest for me and actually focus on improving my skills, I could become a better photographer. And, that's just what I did - total focus on skill improvement including composition, exposure, and focus.

So, I passed my thought process along to a friend, David Kingham, who runs select workshops and he committed to helping me improve my photographic and post-processing skills.

I worked diligently each day to improving my skills with ongoing feedback (and lots of correction) from David and I think I might have made some progress. In my case progress is/was measured in the level of satisfaction with the process and with the images, themselves.

Bottom line: I think I am on the road to improving my skills; I came away truly in awe of Death Valley not only as a geological location but also as a really great photographic location. Big thanks to David Kingham and Jennifer Renwick for their help with this and also for improving my post-processing skills. But, finally, you be the judge.
Death Valley - February 2018

Death Valley - February 2018

February of 2018 found me reprising the previous year's visit to Death Valley. This time I really wanted to go rather than being on a self-coerced visit. After returning from the previous year's trip, I was surprised at how often I went back mentally just for the enjoyment of it all. Also, new destinations could be visited to give me a more rounded portfolio of Death Valley images. Finally, the opportunity existed to surprise three friends who had signed up for this workshop; I would also go but not tell them. The workshop leader, David Kingham, kept my secret and we were able to pull of my surprise appearance at the workshop introductory session. Success with the surprise, success with more destinations visited within Death Valley, success at improving my images over the previous year and success at having a great time and expanding my photographic skills and knowledge.

The Salt Flats - Badwater Basin
Badwater Basin
Sunset on the Flats
Beautiful Badwater
Long Exposure
Day's End on the Salt Flats
Mesquite Flat Dunes Sunrise
Nomadic Metaphor
Star Wars!
Ripples in the Sand
Surreal Sunrise
Sunrise on Mesquite Flat Dunes
Dune Field in Black & White
Morning Warmth
Grooves and Curves
Ridge Line in Black & White
Ridge Line in Color
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