You had to be there to appreciate the grandeur of the landscape before us. The sun had risen about fifteen minutes earlier, first kissing the 11,049 feet tall Telescope Peak before bathing the rest of the Panamint Range in warm light. Looking across the five miles of valley floor, the recent rains had ensured that we would be treated to an incredible reflection – it makes me feel as though we actually got double the beauty.
Sam and I had made this drive the previous day after spending a glorious morning on the salt flats of Badwater. After finishing our morning shoot there, we decided to follow the Badwater Road further south, just to see what we would find. As we rounded another one of the curves where the road was forced to bend to fit the landscape of huge alluvial fans, we came across this scene. We jumped out of the car and soaked in the atmosphere, but by then the sun was a little higher in the sky and though still awesome to view in person, the scene was not as dramatic as it might have been if we had arrived there at daybreak.
It was Sam who suggested that this should be a place we prioritize as a prime shooting location, and the very next morning we returned in search of better light. There was some serious mud in places, and to be honest I was balking a bit about wandering too close to the water’s edge. Sam, however, pushed on… and it was he who encouraged me to persevere and take advantage of the magnificent scene before us. As the sun slowly chased away the cooler morning temperatures, Sam wandered off with his camera down along the edge of the water, and when I looked around for him I couldn’t help but admire his adventurous spirit and willingness to explore. Lesson learned for me, and as I made this image I couldn’t help but feel extremely proud of my son.