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Yesterday I posted some of my favorite photos from my Death Valley trip. First off, thanks so much for the nice comments. Well, today, once again figuring why should I end it on a high note, I thought I’d follow it up with some of the not-so-good photos from the trip. As I think you’ll see, so much of landscape and outdoor photography is just about being there at the right time and place with the right weather. You can be in a really beautiful place and, if the conditions don’t cooperate, take some really bad photos. Heck, as you’ll see here… you can be in a really beautiful place, with really great weather, and still take some bad photos :)

For some reason, photographers are always drawn to roads. Roads that lead somewhere interesting. That road my friends, is not this one. This road (the way I captured it at least), is not only uninteresting in itself, but leads into the most blah looking sky you can imagine. Yet I felt the need it should be captured.
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It’s always interesting to shoot crooked photos of a colorless, lightless, scene. I’ll make myself feel better and say I was “warming up” for sunrise by taking some “test” shots.
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When shooting outdoors and the light gets bad and the shadows get harsh, you should stop shooting. Apparently I didn’t and felt the need to continue to take photos of the same thing that I took perfectly nice photos of earlier.
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When the good light was really gone, I felt like I needed to keep shooting. Somehow this seemed like something I should zoom in to.
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I always like shooting into the sun at sunset, just as it goes doen below the horizon or mountain peaks. But this may have been a bit early for that.
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Apparently rocks travel using the “buddy system”.
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I always felt photographers should put their subject in the center of the photo more often.
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I suppose it’s okay to shoot, knowing that you’ll have to clone some photographers out of your final photo. But at least make sure it’s a shot worth cloning them out for.
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The key shot at the Racetrack in Death Valley is supposed to include the tracks the rocks leave behind. It’s what helps pull people into the frame as they see the rock and the usually nice pattern it leaves behind. I decided to go against the grain and say “screw it”, I’m just shooting a rock. Nothing says “Big deal, it’s a freakin’ rock” like this photo.
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See those almost-pink clouds in the sky here. Well, 2 minutes before this they were lit up like you wouldn’t believe, and some of the most colorful clouds you’ve ever seen. You know where I was though? Shooting the stupid rock you see in the previous photo.
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Lightpainting at it’s finest. The mysterious light from nowhere.
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I always find the light for your red headlamp makes for a great foreground in your star photos.
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Now this is some subtle light painting. Don’t you love the even exposure and how the light from my flashlight just blends seemlessly with the area around me?
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Who needs foreground? Just a photo of stars always stands on it’s own :)
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I must have done something to tick off Air traffic control at some point. It seems they knew I was out trying to get some star photos. I’m even told there was a flight from New York to Miami that they rerouted over Death Valley for me. Not 1. Not 2. Not 3. But 4 planes to clone out. Really?! (there’s actually more if you look close)
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There’s that darn headlamp again.
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I affectionately refer to this photo as “The Sand Dunes You Can’t Really See”
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Perhaps I thought the footprints in the lower right corner made a nice foreground element.
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It’s all about leading lines baby!!! You’ve gotta love the way that nice S curve on the right leads you up to the trampled sand at the top. That along with the tripod hole in the bottom right and my hand on the far left make this a photo that you can look at many times and continue to see all new mistakes each time.
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I actually like this photo. I didn’t see it until last night. Figured I’d include it so you don’t think I totally suck as a photographer.
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Took this one just in case I couldn’t find my way back to the car so I had something to trace my steps with.
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Ever take a photo of something and you’re just not sure why? Not just one photo mind you – but about 10.
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That’s the shadow of a person at the bottom of the image. I remember taking the photo thinking, “I’ll just clone them out if I need to”. Really?
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I call this photo “Holy crap! I’m really tired from walking up dunes, and I know my camera is being triggered by my cable release which is in my pocket, but I’m too tired from walking up and down these dunes to do anything about it.”
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Did I mention foreground in another photo. Plenty of it here! Nothing else mind you ;)
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Once again I remember thinking that I could just clone my tripod out. And the other tripod. And the big shadow next to me…And the camera bags… and the cars in the background.
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Dead centered horizons, with photographers holding up their tripod in the background always look great.
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Thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t seen yesterday’s post yet, please at least check it out so you know I don’t totally suck as a photographer :)