I hate to admit this, but I have hardly photographed in Death Valley in almost thirty years! I have been there many times, and there have been moments with the camera out that lead to some OK capture, but since the eighties, life happened. We built a house in Crowley Lake, then our kids, Dylan and Sabrina came along. Any parent knows what happened to the next twenty five years! In any case, in those seasons long ago, I was mostly frustrated - my ... vision, my artistic side was only occasionally in evidence in those older shots. I really could only produce the normal "Zabriskie Point" or "Sand Dune" images from Stovepipe Wells. Thirty years have come and gone--even the kids are gone. I have had the good fortune to reach a mature stage of my career, and that I am able to connect the vision I have of photography with the outside world of my clients. It is time now to explore the deserts near Mammoth, especially in a winter like we have had this year.
In the last decade, the Internet has altered everything in the world of photography. It is insanely easy to find where other photographers have made their images via Google, Instagram, and often their own posts. But now, more than ever, one needs to have a keen sense of "what works" in mind. Here are two new images from the Death Valley area. They are a beginning of a new look in my portfolio, and I hope there are many more to be made in future times. I am pleased by them, but as I mention in my workshops, educate and educate more; unless you win the gold medal in the Olympics, someone always knows more than you! Find that person--maybe it is a personal source instead of Google--and learn everything you need for your planned projects--and consider the idea of "planned projects". There are accidental wonderful successes, and they feel great, but in most good photography we need to have a vision of the planned capture in our minds, do the research for those projects, and most importantly, complete the research in our minds with respect to skill and emotion, in order to fully realize a particular idea. Good luck!
All the best,
Margaret and Vern