Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip
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Exploring the plan for day two


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Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip

with Ben Long

Video: Exploring the plan for day two

It's day two. Boy, when I say it that way it really sounds like I'm, I'm writing in my journal. You know, day two, had to eat the cameraman or something like that. It's not going that poorly, it's actually going great. It's day two, we've gotten kind of a late start. And we got kind of a late start because, well it was my fault actually, that we got a late start. I, I went out on my own today onto the Panamint dry lake bed. It's, it's really one of my favorite places in the entire world. Not just here in Death Valley. I wanted to get out there. Because we are doing this production, we have to have a ranger accompany us, because this is a national park.

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Watch the Online Video Course Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip
1h 55m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013

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Every type of location presents its own photographic challenges. For the stark wilderness of Death Valley National Park, these can include harsh desert light, stark landscapes, and a vastness that can be daunting to capture in a single frame. In this course, travel along with author, teacher, and photographer Ben Long to Death Valley to learn about the challenges and techniques behind capturing the exotic beauty and surprising details of the desert.

Topics include:
  • Looking at the light
  • Composing a shot to show rock texture
  • Taking a shot with haze and working it in post
  • Shooting sand dunes in changing light
  • Exploring the vistas for a more dramatic shot
  • Understanding the pace of a place
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Exploring the plan for day two

It's day two. Boy, when I say it that way it really sounds like I'm, I'm writing in my journal. You know, day two, had to eat the cameraman or something like that. It's not going that poorly, it's actually going great. It's day two, we've gotten kind of a late start. And we got kind of a late start because, well it was my fault actually, that we got a late start. I, I went out on my own today onto the Panamint dry lake bed. It's, it's really one of my favorite places in the entire world. Not just here in Death Valley. I wanted to get out there. Because we are doing this production, we have to have a ranger accompany us, because this is a national park.

That's not how it is if you're just going to come here and shoot on your own, unless you're doing a, a, a commercial production of some kind. So because we are, we gotta have a ranger with us. So the crew needed to wait and talk to the ranger that we have today. I, aaaah; my ears are popping. I, didn't want to miss the morning light. Yesterday, we missed two or three hours of really great light, so I thought I'd head out onto the lake on my own, which I did. And I got a lotta stuff that I really liked. I was really just working with the textures on the lake bed, with the stones that were lying around. I started to get a little uptight somewhere along the way, because I felt like I just kept taking the same shot over and over, at least compositionally. I was framing things exactly the same way.

I got in the car and was driving back, though, and was heading into the light and started seeing some really different things. This is like we discovered yesterday at the Devil's Golf Course. Working into the light can be a, a really powerful form of, of lighting. Out here you get interesting reflections and things on different planes. Somethings were just lighting up, I, I really liked that. So I got some stuff there that was different. So, our idea now is to head back into Death Valley again over. Panamint mountains, into Death Valley, to try and get to the dunes.

We've got permission to shoot there, and we want to get into the dunes, hopefully be there in time for the good light. It's not a great distance, so along the way I'm going to do some shooting, just see what I can find. It's the middle of the day, so there may or may not be something. But hopefully we can come up with a few things. As we make our way first to lunch, and then onto the sand dunes.

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