On our last night in the park we made a reservation at the Furnace Creek Ranch so that we would be closer to the route we would be taking back to Vegas in the morning. We had checked out Badwater as a potential evening shot, but it was under water and a bust. Earlier in the day we had enjoyed a cool hike in Golden Canyon, and after a yummy burger for an early dinner we settled on checking out Zabriskie Point.
Zabriskie Point is traditionally an early morning shot. When standing on the overlook the suns rises behind you and lights up the peaks of the Panamints before racing across the valley toward Manly Beacon. Zabriskie Point is an icon that is photographed by just about anyone who visits Death Valley, and who can blame them?
Not really expecting to capture anything exciting, I set up my camera and tripod anyway, and we just hung out enjoying the antics of the many tourists who huffed and puffed their way up to the overlook. We shared a bag of Flamin’ Hot Funions – not something we can get back in Maine, and as the sun went down it was a very relaxing evening.
Most of the people left after the sun dropped behind the mountains across the valley, though it was only after this that the light started to get nice. While everyone was looking across the valley, I grabbed this first image of the earth shadow above the folds and creases to the south. The second image is from about half an hour after the sun had set, and it shows the colorful sky as a backdrop to Manly Beacon. Both images are manual blends to address exposure issues the camera has with dynamic range – and both images better represent what the actual scene looked like to my eyes.
We will be at Zabriskie Point again in the morning for what we hope will be a classic sunrise – fingers crossed :)