Death Valley National Park, California, USA


Panamine Flats

I love to visit Death Valley once or twice a year, especially on the border of the seasons when it is not crazy hot in this area. This way I can enjoy hiking and exploring this place while not being burned alive.

This time I didn't have anything specific in mind to photograph. I just wanted to find some interesting and yet simple subject and composition. While I was driving across the park to a remote location which I have never been to before I saw these vast dry flats from the window and decided to stop and spend some time exploring. There was no a particular sign or a parking area, I just parked along the road, took my backpack with my large format camera, a tripod, enough water and went exploring.

After about a mile or so I came across these interesting ancient volcanic rocks scattered around the area and spent another hour just walking and searching for potential composition. Eventually, I found these three rocks forming a triangle particularly interesting for my future composition and decided to use them as an anchor in the image. I realized that these rocks would make a good contrast with the dark remote mountains if put against the bright background. In order to make all this work, I needed the sun to be high enough such that the reflecting light will make this dry yellowish mud very bright and the dark rocks highly contrasty and dark. Unfortunately, it was an overcast day and in order to get the light, I needed I decided to come back the next day.

The next day happened to be just perfect for the image that I imagined. Having all the elements of the composition in mind I came back to this exact location at the right time of the day, quickly set up my camera and made a few exposures, slightly moving my tripod left and right to get the best angle.

Technical Details

  • Camera: Arca Swiss RL3d Large Format

  • Lens: Rodenstock 40mm

  • Aperture: 16.1

  • Exposure: 1/60 Second

  • Digital: Phase One IQ180 (ISO35)

Limited Edition Prints

from 650.00

Hand signed and printed on Baryta paper
Edition of 15

Photograph is shipped rolled. This allows you to have it framed to your liking at your local frame shop.

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