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Old Jan 29, 2011, 9:43 PM   #1
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More Death Valley pictures. This time it's Golden Canyon, the first place we visited after arriving. The canyon is a slot canyon on the east side of the valley. At one time there was a road through it and a ranger said it was navigable up until the 70's. While Death Valley doesn't get much rain, it occasionally gets a whole bunch of rain all at one time and flash flooding is relatively common. There's very little of the road left, the hike is on the sandy floor of the canyon. (K5, DA*50-135)



The rock is a variety of colors, mostly sedimentary and is eroded by water. While wind is a significant factor elsewhere, I don't think it has much influence in this narrow, winding canyon. One area has interesting shapes, can others see the face I see on the right? (K5, DA 35 macro ltd)



Dan (my wonderful other half) doesn't know much about photography, but he has a great time snapping away when we're on a trip. The scenery in Golden Canyon surrounds you and he tried to capture it all, thinking only of trying to get it all. He doesn't think in terms of panoramas or things like that. Even though I knew that he didn't line up the shots right for a panorama, I decided to try merging them anyway, just to see what Photoshop made of the series. I liked how it came out, added a black background layer and thought this was a neat collage. It turned out to be a fun novelty picture. (K7, DA 55-300)



Even though we were there in the afternoon and the sun wasn't straight overhead, there was still a lot of dynamic range. The K5 has a huge amount of detail in the shadows and you can lighten a significant amount without introducing noise. However, I still took a number of bracketed shots and merged them using either HDR Efex (mostly, such as these two) or Photomatix. Not all sets work, and in more than one case I did as well by taking the first underexposed shot and developing/"pushing" it in Lightroom. This one worked well as an HDR, and I love the way it shows the tilting landscape along with some of the different colors and texture in the rocks. (K5, DA*50-135)



HDR #2 (K5, DA*50-135):



This one is not HDR, taken at the same spot with a different focal length (K5, DA*50-135).



I always love looking at the small details. I didn't spend near enough time appreciating the tiny parts of the stone canyon walls. There was a huge variety of color, the namesake color: (K5, DA*50-135):



And green. There wasn't much of the green color in this canyon, but not far away there is a lot more. (K5, DA*50-135):



Last picture - there are a number of small side-canyons, each one different. I liked the way the rocks have weathered in this picture. (K5, DA*50-135):



Visiting Death Valley mid-week in winter meant that it was uncrowded. We saw a ranger led tour when we entered the canyon, and a few others while we walked, a wonderful afternoon. The canyon is probably one of the most visited, being on the main road very close to Furnace Creek (Inn, Ranch, camping) and having such spectacular scenery.
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Old Jan 30, 2011, 2:15 PM   #2
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these are great photos Harriet. Death Valley looks like an amazing place. I have to wonder what people were thinking when they looked at that narrow canyon all those years ago and said, hey, we could build a road through here.

I really like Dan's unconventional panoramic. Your trick of putting a black layer on the very bottom made a huge difference.
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Old Jan 30, 2011, 7:33 PM   #3
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Great series, Harriet!
I think Dans pano has some real potential.
Its been a long time since I've visited Death Vally, thanks for bringing back some memories.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 9:26 PM   #4
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Death Valley is definitely a neat place to spend time in, the history of the area is fascinating. There's been some very colorful characters that lived or spent time there, all the way up to today.

I only have a few pictures from the second day that worked out. We drove the graded dirt road over Red Pass through Titus Canyon - the scenery is awesome, and it surrounds you completely. I used the 12-24 quite a bit, but discovered that I hadn't dialed in the camera right - most of the pictures had quite a bit of ff, making few of them worth keeping. I made more changes to it this weekend and think I finally have it right (maybe - need to shoot more with it to tell), but that doesn't help the pictures I already took. Oh well, it's an excuse to go back again.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 9:54 PM   #5
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Very cool pics. I gave it a couple days... but now I have to ask if anyone else noticed the faces in the rocks (right side of picture 2 and top right of picture 9)? The second face is not as noticable.
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Old Feb 3, 2011, 9:42 PM   #6
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I don't see a face as much in the last one, but now that you got me looking, I see a profile in the first one I hadn't noticed before.

There was a ranger leading a walk when we passed that spot. She was talking about seeing various things, like building spires. The only thing I saw, and I saw it right off, was the face.
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Old Feb 3, 2011, 10:17 PM   #7
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That's quite a set of shots I like the 1st and last best. I have only flown over Death Valley at 32000 ft looks like a neat place to shoot.
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 5:41 AM   #8
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A fascinating place with some amazing geology - and so well-photographed. Great captures of the textures & patterns. And wonderfully inviting lines in #1!
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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I really love visiting that part of the country. If my family were closer, I'd consider moving more westward.... Beautiful shots!!!
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Old Feb 5, 2011, 8:02 AM   #10
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Great shots Harriett, I have to get back out west again, I love cow trailing for the old ghost towns
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