Doug Beezley Photography | Death Valley National Park - February 2017

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 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 in this and also improving my post-processing skills. But, finally, you be the judge.
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